Zerillo’s Thursday CPBL Betting Odds and Picks: Rakuten Monkeys vs. Uni-President Lions (April 16)

Credit:

Gene Wang/Getty Images. Pictured: Donn Roach #50 of Uni-President Lions.

The CPBL, the only professional baseball league currently playing games, is back in action on Thursday with one game — another 6:35 a.m. ET start between the Uni-President Lions and Rakuten Monkeys.

Below are the odds, projections, and my pick for the game.

Uni-President Lions vs. Rakuten Monkeys Betting Odds

Lions odds: -120
Monkeys odds: -105
Over/Under: 9.5
First pitch: 6:35 a.m. ET


Odds as of Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET and via PointsBet. Get up to $200 in risk-free bets at PointsBet today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


Probable Pitchers: Donn Roach (Uni-President) vs. Yi-Cheng Wang (Rakuten)

These two teams played an exciting, 9-8 extra-inning game on Wednesday, won by Rakuten on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th inning; one of nine home runs and 31 hits on the evening.

In other words, the Monkeys played their typical game — mashing the opposing pitching staff before their bullpen melted down with a late lead.

On Thursday, Rakuten will throw their best domestic starter — Wang Yi-Cheng (5.09 FIP, 4.24 DIPS ERA in 2019) against Uni-President import Donn Roach; who has spent time with nine MLB clubs, the KT Wiz in the KBO, and the Orix Buffaloes in the NPB.

This was Roach’s pitch mix during his time in Japan:

  • 44% 2-Seam Fastball – 89 mph
  • 24% Curveball – 76 mph
  • 17% Cutter – 88 mph
  • 11% Splitter – 85 mph
  • 4% 4-Seam Fastball –89 mph

Roach went 4-15 in Korea with a 4.69 ERA, a K/9 mark of 5.4, and a BB/9 mark of 3.3. And his strikeout rate fell further (to 3.4 K/9) after he moved to Japan.

That factor alone is concerning and further compounded by the reduced defensive quality in the CPBL, making it challenging to project Roach for anything better than a league-average ERA.

Expect to see a high number of balls in play when Roach is pitching.

Oddsmakers make him the favorite in this matchup, but I’m not entirely convinced that he’s better than his opponent.

Yi-Cheng Wang has pitched for Rakuten (previously Lamigo) since 2013, compiling a 5.02 ERA and 1.55 WHIP while striking out seven batters per nine innings, with a 2.14:1 strikeout to walk ratio.

He throws a fastball (92 mph), slider, and changeup, and has the look of a prototypical finesse lefty with smooth mechanics:

The total is once again low for this game — listed at 9.5 or 10 when I project this as the highest-scoring game thus far in the 2020 season, accounting for more than 13 runs.

I see two capable offenses, two below-average starting pitchers, and a couple of bullpens who got roughed up on Wednesday, with a listed game total lower than the average number of runs per game (~11) in the CPBL.

Additionally, I made the Monkeys a pretty sizable home favorite in this contest, but oddsmakers opened Uni-President as the favorite with an imported pitcher on the mound.

By betting Over 10 (-110), I’m playing an 11.33% edge compared to my projected total at 13.25. I would bet that Over up to 10.5 (-120), a 6.9% edge.

Additionally, I played Rakuten at -115 (implied 53.5%), a 7% edge compared to my projection (60.5%), and I would bet them up to -133 (implied 57%); a 3.5% edge.

CPBL Bets for April 16

  • Rakuten Monkeys (-115, 1 unit)
  • Over 10 (-110, 1 unit)

CPBL Year to Date: 3-1 (+1.5 Units)

[Bet now at PointsBet. NJ and IN only.]

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