Zerillo’s CPBL Betting Odds & Picks: Uni-President Lions vs. Fubon Guardians & Rakuten Monkeys vs. Chinatrust Brothers (April 22)
Gene Wang/Getty Images. Pictured: Li Lin #39 of Rakuten Monkeys.
The CPBL, the only professional baseball league currently playing regular-season games, is back in action on Wednesday with a pair of games at 6:35 a.m. ET.
The Fubon Guardians (3-3) will host the Uni-President Lions (2-5), and the undefeated Rakuten Monkeys (5-0) will face the Chinatrust Brothers (2-4).
For more information about the CPBL, check out my opening day betting guide.
Below, you can find the listed odds for Wednesday’s games, alongside my projections, analysis, and wagers for Wednesday.
Uni-President Lions vs. Fubon Guardians Betting Odds
Lions odds: +124
Guardians odds: -155
First pitch: 6:35 a.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Donn Roach (Uni) vs. Bryan Woodall (Fubon)
A pair of American arms will square off for their Taiwanese clubs, as righties Donn Roach and Bryan Woodall take the mound for the Lions and Guardians.
Though foreign pitchers generally perform better in the CPBL than the domestic arms do, Roach (career 4.98 ERA in international professional baseball) and Woodall (5.61 FIP in the CPBL in 2019) aren’t nearly as imposing statistically as pitchers like their teammates Josh Roenicke (3.85 FIP in 2019) or Mike Loree (3.43 FIP in 2019) were last season.
Roach had a K/9 mark of 5.4 with a BB/9 mark of 3.3 in the KBO, and his strikeout rate fell further (to 3.4 K/9) after he moved to Japan, where he deployed the following pitch mix:
- 44% 2-Seam Fastball — 89 mph
- 24% Curveball — 76 mph
- 17% Cutter — 88 mph
- 11% Splitter — 85 mph
- 4% 4-Seam Fastball — 89 mph
His CPBL debut, against the Monkeys on April 16, was rather disastrous: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 1 K.
You can expect to see a high number of balls put into play when Roach is pitching, and with the reduced defensive quality in the CPBL, it’s challenging to project Roach for anything better than league-average run prevention.
Woodall also makes his second start of the 2020 season, after declining from a 3.68 FIP with the Guardians in 2018, to 5.61 last year.
He faced the Monkeys on April 17 and allowed the following line: 5 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 0 BB, 3 K.
Woodall is a finesse pitcher, with an 86 mph fastball, 78 mph curveball, and 73 mph changeup. Here he is on one of his better days, from 2018:
In 2020, I project Woodall for something between his exceptional 2018, and subpar 2019 seasons, and for this game, in particular, I projected the total for just more than 11 runs.
That’s a 5% betting edge on Over 10 (-105), and I would continue to play the over, for a half unit, up to 10 (-110), a 3.9% edge.
Rakuten Monkeys vs. Chinatrust Brothers Betting Odds
Monkeys odds: -250
Brothers odds: +195
First pitch: 6:35 a.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Ryan Carpenter (Rakuten) vs. Liao Yi-Chung (Chinatrust)
Monkeys southpaw Ryan Carpenter tossed six innings in his CPBL debut against the Lions, allowing seven hits and five runs while striking out four batters.
Notably, all seven hits he allowed were to right-handed hitters — and three of his four strikeouts came against lefties. Carpenter was walloped by everyone during his brief time in the big leagues — when he allowed a 1.018 OPS over 63 innings — but he did generate a 10:1 strikeout to walk ratio against lefties, compared to a 30:16 rate against righties.
He throws five pitches, primarily leaning on his slider (28%) — his only pitch to return a positive pitch value during his MLB tenure — but despite substantial Triple-A numbers (strikeout per inning, 3.41 K/BB) I view Carpenter as merely an average to a slightly above-average pitcher in the CPBL.
Liao Yi-Chung will make his 2020 debut for the Brothers, after pitching to a 4.61 FIP and 3.79 DIPS ERA last season over 13 starts at the CPBL level. Liao went 9-2 with a 1.55 ERA over 13 starts at the minor league level, however.
His K/BB ratio was 62:18 over 74.1 innings in the CPBL, compared to 68:15 over 75.2 innings in the minor leagues.
He also recorded the Brothers’ lone win over the Monkeys in the 2019 Taiwan Series.
The righty’s repertoire includes a fastball (92 mph), slider, curveball, and forkball, and he looks like a somewhat developed domestic pitcher; despite previously being undrafted.
I see Carpenter as 10-15% better than a league-average pitcher, while Yi-Chung is just about average.
By my projections, this game is just about a tossup — but the public is piling on the Monkeys, thanks to their undefeated record and the presence of their American pitcher.
At odds of +245 (implied 29%), I bet a 19.2% edge on the Chinatrust moneyline as compared to my projection at 48.2%, and I would continue to play that down to +162 (implied 38.2%), a 10% edge.
CPBL Bets for April 22
- Lions / Guardians, Over 10 (-105, 0.5 units)
- Chinatrust Brothers (+245, 1 unit)
CPBL Year to Date: 11-5 (+5.78 Units)