Rakuten Monkeys vs Uni Lions Pick – CPBL May 13, 2020

These guys just stepped off the gridiron apparently.

Today’s game had a final score of 17-10!

That is the most combined runs scored in any game thus far in the Chinese Taipei Professional Baseball League.

That over 14.5 wager sure would have been nice!

At (-120), though, we had the same odds on the Rakuten Monkeys to win on the run line of (-2.5).

We got that one!

I simply had zero confidence in Lions starter Donn Roach pitching well.

He has been scorched in all 5 of his starts now. I don’t care what they’re paying this guy. He needs to take a step back. In just over 2 innings of work today, he walked four, struck out zero, gave up 9 hits, and allowed 9 total runs-6 of which were earned.

I’m not mad. We are 3-0 betting against him. Keep his sorry butt in there a little longer if you want.

There were plenty of bright spots for the first place Monkeys obviously. They scored 17 runs!

They were led, though, by designated hitter Liao Jianfu, who went 4-4 with a walk, 5 runs scored, and 4 RBI’s.

Shortstop Lin Zhiping raised his batting average for the season to .529 with a 3-3 performance with 2 walks and 4 RBI’s.

This is Lin’s 12 year in the CPBL and is a career .285 hitter.

Unbelievable resurgence!

Rakuten starter Weng Weijun improved his record to 3-1 when he bent but didn’t break over 5 innings pitched.

The Lions lit him up for 12 hits but only managed to plate 4.

Only 2 of the 6 runs the bullpen allowed for the rest of the game were earned.

2 errors hurt Rakuten but not enough to dent the massive lead they kept for the entire game after putting up 9 by the fourth inning.

Am I mad at myself for not taking the over?

It did almost hit twice over!

14.5 was the total but 27 is just crazy. 36 combined hits. Are these boys going to have anything left tomorrow?

I don’t know. I haven’t even looked yet but I’m leaning towards the under.

We will see.

That is 6 consecutive wins for us bringing our record to 13-5 and raising our return on investment to 36.6% for 1 unit plays on each wager.

BetOnline.AG has the betting lines for us.

Let’s get to our predictions for the CPBL game between the first place Rakuten Monkeys and the last place Unity Lions.

Rakuten Monkeys vs Uni Lions

Run Line

  • Rakuten -3.5 (+100)
  • Uni +3.5 (-140)
Money Line

  • Rakuten (-330)
  • Chinatrust (+240)
Run Total

  • Over 13.5 (-120)
  • Under 13.5 (-120)

Wow, 3.5…

The sportsbooks are getting tired of getting beat!

They are really trying to make this one interesting!

The moneyline is just ridiculous.

  • (-330)?!
  • (+240)?!

They want people to look at the Lions here and I might just do that. I know their bullpen got a lot of work yesterday throwing for over 6 innings.

Over 100 pitches thrown for the Lions bullpen but 77 from the Monkeys relievers isn’t minuscule.

Unity really lit up the Rakuten relievers too.

Both pens were trash yesterday but the first call was made by the Lions in the third inning. You don’t win many games when your hand is forced in that direction.

Taking the mound for the first place favorite Monkeys will be Justin Nicolino.

The 28-year-old Florida native and former Marlin has started two games for the CPBL in his first season with the league.

His first game was a gem. 8 innings, 2 hits, and 0 runs allowed while striking out 6.

In his second appearance about a week ago, he threw against the Fubon Guardians again and this time, they lit him up.

5 ⅓, 10 hits, and 6 earned runs allowed…

He couldn’t keep the ball down in the zone.

After 13 of his 17 outs in his first appearance were all ground balls, it was nearly 50/50 his next time out.

I think the Guardians were ready to swing the bat and had a good feel for him after playing against him a week prior.

I know they had to be a little salty as well, only getting two hits against a pitcher playing for the first time in the CPBL.

He likes to throw a lot of strikes and had about a 60/40 split in the first meeting.

The Guardians’ manager and coaches probably gave their batters the green light the second time around.

55 of his 82 total pitches thrown were strikes. 10 hits and 6 runs later, though…

It’s hard to get a read on Nicolino here. He was outstanding his first time out and stunk it up when he faced the Guardians again.

Fubon is dead last in the CPBL in nearly every major offensive statistical category.

We have seen Justin put together one of the best performances of any pitcher in the league all season but betting on that to happen once more seems foolish.

I am leaning towards the Lions here, maybe even the moneyline.

Let’s see who they have taking the mound.

Jiang Chenyan has literally grown up pitching for the Uni Lions.

He started his first CPBL game for Uni at the age of 19.

Now in his 7th season as a starter for the Unity Lions, Jiang has pitched a total of 15 innings over 3 starts and has an ERA of 6.00.

I know that sounds like a lot but the team has an ERA over 7.00.

The stat that leaps off the page is his ground outs vs fly outs.

60/40 is a good split but not great.

If you can manage 70/30 or better, I think you’re doing great.

The Rakuten Monkeys love the long ball, though!

Jiang has had more fly ball outs than ground balls every season he has played.

Some years, it was 2 fly balls for every ground ball. That’s playing with fire!

For his career, though, he is about 60/40 fly balls to those hit on the ground.

If you look at his 3 outings this year, he has pitched once against each team in the league.

In games against the Brothers and the Guardians, Jiang allowed just one earned run over 11 innings pitched.

That is out-stinkin-standing for the CPBL!

The one game he lost, though…

The Monkeys torched him for 9 hits including 3 long balls. By the start of the 5th inning, he had allowed 9 earned and he took a seat in the dugout.

4 strikeouts, 6 fly balls, and only 2 on the ground…

He is perfect for the Monkeys to smash.

We know the Lions bullpen is tired too.

There is still value on the moneyline for them at (+240), though.

I just don’t know if I want to pull that trigger considering the stylistic advantage the Monkeys get here along with their strong single-game history when they crushed him a couple of weeks ago.

The Rakuten Monkeys have won by 4 or more runs in 6 of 18 games played this season.

That doesn’t give us any kind of edge with the run line.

Nicolino is a lefty. 3 of the Lions top 4 hitters for average and power are left-handed.

The Lions starter Jiang is also a southpaw.

How many of the Monkeys’ top hitters hit from the same side?

They are pretty balanced. Most of their power comes from the left side but they have right-handed batters in the everyday lineup hitting .346 or higher.

I think Nicolino throws a strong 7 innings allowing just 2 or 3 runs.

Jiang will keep the ball down early but as he starts to struggle with control and tries too hard, that’s when the Monkeys get to him.

10-4 Rakuten.

Take the run line.

My Picks
RAKUTEN MONKEYS -3.5
+100

In Conclusion

I am very excited to see what Justin Nicolino is going to be able to do in his third outing of the year.

After one very bad performance and one that was near perfect, we don’t know what to expect from the Florida man…

Not the first time you have heard that probably.

The Lions struggle against lefties and I think the best hitting team in the league, by far, will get to their starter Jiang early and often.

His grounder to fly ball ratio is terrible and it is consistently terrible.

As successful bettors, we have to love consistency, whether it be consistently excellent or atrocious.

The run line of (-3.5) is a lot and the Monkeys have only been able to do that 33% of the time this year.

Hopefully, the Rakuten bats aren’t too tired from driving in 17 today.

The moneyline is ridiculous and I’m just not feeling the run total either way.

So, run line it is, guys.

Get your bets in now directly from this article!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.