As we enter the first full week in the month of May, the standings in the Chinese Taipei Professional Baseball League are tightening up.
There is a two-way tie for last place but it’s Monday and I want to start the week with some positivity, so we can say there is a tie for third place instead.
Both the Fubon Guardians and the Chinatrust Brother Elephants are 6-9 while the Unity Lions are just a half game up on them at 7-9.
The defending Taiwan Series Champion Rakuten Monkeys are still in first, of course, with a commanding 5+ game lead on the rest of the league.
Today's MVP: Chu, Yu-Hsien
5-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI. Will he be MVP this year?
— CPBL 中華職棒 (@CPBL) May 2, 2020
The Monkeys and Guardians will have the day off tomorrow so we have just one game to pick for Tuesday.
The Uni Lions, who have given up more runs than any other team in the league this year, visit the Chinatrust Brother Elephants who have scored the least amount of runs of any CPBL squad.
Both teams will be trying their best not to lose three in a row as the Rakuten Monkey’s bats came back to life vs the Brothers over the weekend as the defending champs crossed home plate 25 times on Saturday and Sunday.
Emotion tends to fade, though, in competition.
It can save you today and maybe tomorrow but not forever.
After winning 3 of 4 ball games and scoring 48 runs in that span, they have dropped two in a row allowing 32 runners to cross home.
The Brother Elephants had a rough start to the regular season losing their first three.
They followed that up by winning 6 out of 10 before the Guardians broke out of their respective slump and lit up Chinatrust for 23 runs over the weekend.
BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for tomorrow’s game.
Let’s break down the pitching matchup and make our predictions for the Uni Lions @ the Chinatrust Brothers.
Uni Lions vs Chinatrust Brothers
Taking the mound for the visiting Lions will be Donn Roach.
The 30-year-old Las Vegas native and graduate of the prestigious Bishop Gorman High School is still trying to find his rhythm in the 2020 CPBL season.
Not in this league, when there are too many capable international and local pitchers without a job right now that they could swap him out for.
He has the worst ERA and WHIP of any hurler in the league with more than 12 innings pitched.
The Brothers’ bats are not the most dangerous but the team does hit very well for average and the base knocks could catch up with Roach sooner than later.
My man has been around…
Donn has either been drafted, signed with or picked up on waivers by 10 Major League Teams in 10 years.
He clearly doesn’t have what it takes to be a successful pitcher at the highest level of baseball.
That’s okay. The Chinese Taipei Professional Baseball League is at a similar level to that of a Double-A farm team in the States.
I think this will be a make or break game for Donn. If he can’t help his team get the win here, he may be on his way down to the minors.
Opposing Mr. Roach will be Taiwan’s Huang En-Sih.
— CTBC Brothers US (@BrosChinaTrust) April 16, 2020
The young man will be 24 this month and is off to a decent start to the year with an ERA of 4.76.
Keep in mind, we are only talking about two starts this year but he looks better than he did in 2019 when Huang appeared in 17 games, 14 of which he got the start, but gave up 100 hits in 68 innings pitched.
He finished the season with an ERA of 7.47.
For his sake, let’s hope he can continue to improve.
Huang’s WHIP is just 1.24 on the season.
Compare that to The Donn’s 1.84 and we have a disparity.
Over 13.5 is pushing it, especially since the Brothers are the lowest scoring team in the league.
They aren’t a home run hitting ball club like the Monkeys.
Chinatrust is going to need a lot of base hits to put up the 8 or 9 runs it’s probably going to take for the over 13.5 to hit.
Wu, Dong-Rong's baserunning is super efficient and aggressive! ?
— CPBL 中華職棒 (@CPBL) May 2, 2020
The Lions can get hot for sure but it appears they are starting to slow down as their emotional high is leveling out.
The run line is just ridiculous.
They want us to lay (-165) to get 1.5 runs for the Brothers and that’s cool and all but I will take the home team with the more effective pitcher and higher batting average to get the win here.
Moneyline it is!
Another week of Taiwan baseball!
We have done a pretty good job picking the games so far and we are just now starting to get some real data to work with.
It’s hard to decipher how well they will do in the CPBL from looking at their statistics from a handful of Major League outings over the past couple of years.
The Brothers are still the second best team in the CPBL right now and I think that will be evident by Memorial Day.
With more clutch hitting and the addition of a power hitter, ehem, Manny Ramirez, the Brothers could threaten the defending champion Monkeys come playoff time.
Get your bets in now, guys, and we will be throwing picks at you like crazy now with the 3 UFC’s in 8 days as well as 7 NASCAR races in 2 weeks all in the month of May.