Uni Lions vs. Rakuten Monkeys Pick – CPBL April 16, 2020

Starting Pitchers:

  • Donn Roach (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
  • Yi-Cheng Wang (0-0, 3.00 ERA)

Baseball is back in Taiwan, as the first professional baseball league in the world to play ball in 2020. The Chinese Professional Baseball League is underway in Taiwan, which means there are baseball odds on individual games available for the first time this season. The Korean Baseball League is intending on starting in two or three weeks, so that would be an additional betting option.

The KBO is one of the best baseball leagues outside of Major League Baseball. Perhaps other than Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, the KBO is the best baseball league in the world not named MLB. That’s not to say that the CPBL is bad baseball. In fact, a lot of players playing in Taiwan have experience in the majors.

There are plenty of players in the CPBL that flamed out in the majors and wanted to keep playing baseball. Asian baseball provides that outlet. If you’re a hardcore baseball fan, you might recognize a name on the bump for the Uni Lions in this one. The Uni Lions and Rakuten Monkeys will do battle on Thursday. Keep in mind that there are only five teams in the CPBL, so we’re going to get a nice sample size of head-to-head matchups throughout the season.

The Uni Lions are the most successful club in Taiwan with nine championships. Although, the Rakuten Monkeys, formerly the Lamigo Monkeys, are the most recent winners, with a win over Chinatrust Brothers in five games. They finished with a pedestrian record of 63-55-2, but it was still good for their third straight league championship. Uni finished 73-47-0 in 2018 and 78-47-41 in 2017, so they regressed even though they still won.

Uni had one of their worst seasons in franchise history in 2019. They finished 48-70-2 for 4th in the CPBL. Expect to see some form of a bounce back by them. Maybe not back to championship form, but it’s unlikely to see another bad year play out like that again. This will be their second meeting of the season already, with Rakuten getting the win in an exciting contest, 9-8, in extra innings. Donn Roach and Yi-Cheng Wang are the expected starting pitchers on Thursday. Head below for our free Uni Lions vs. Rakuten Monkeys pick for April 16, 2020.

Uni Lions vs. Rakuten Monkeys Betting Odds:

Spread:

  • Uni Lions -1 (+100)
  • Rakuten Monkeys +1 (-135)
Moneyline:

  • Uni Lions -115
  • Rakuten Monkeys -115
Total Points:

  • Over 9.5 (-130)
  • Under 9.5 (-110)

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Uni Lions vs. Rakuten Monkeys Prediction:

The fireworks were going off between the Uni Lions and Rakuten Monkeys in their first matchup of the season. Uni were unable to get the win, but give credit for their ability to fight back. They were down quickly by a score of 4-0 2 ½ innings into the game. Going into the 7th inning, Uni were down by 4 runs but managed to storm back to tie the ballgame up in the bottom of the 8th.

Good game and hopefully we can have another entertaining affair on Thursday in Taiwan. Donn Roach is scheduled to take the bump for the Uni Lions in this one. It could be a slight issue with Roach getting the nod for the Lions.

Roach was a minor league lifer in the US, as he opened his career in 2010 in the Angels’ organization. From 2010 to 2019, Roach was able to register a record of 3-1 with a 5.77 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in 39 innings. 2016 was the last time we saw Roach on a major league mound, as he got touched up with the Seattle Mariners for a 8.44 ERA and 1.68 WHIP. In the AAA with Charlotte last season, Roach was tattooed for a 7.83 ERA and 1.92 WHIP. He gave up a staggering 16 long balls in 79.1 innings of work.

This will be the debut for Roach in the CPBL. With this start, he will complete the Pro Ball Grand Slam, as he will have played in every major baseball league in the world. Despite the downgrade in competition, it’s likely Roach runs into issues against the Monkeys. Rakuten are one of the better hitting clubs in the CPBL. Yi-Cheng Wang is expected to counter for Rakuten on the bump.

He posted a 4.91 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 2019, and has not had a favorable time against the Lions. Wang has notched a 5.04 ERA, but has been backed up by a solid Rakuten offense to earn a record of 20-11 against the Lions. He has appeared in one game this season so far, with a 3.00 ERA in 3 innings pitched. The total continues to rise for good reason in this matchup. We likely don’t see another 9-8 final score, but there should be enough offense to push the game OVER the total on Thursday.

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The Bet
OVER 9.5
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.