Zerillo’s CPBL Betting Odds & Picks: Rakuten Monkeys vs. Fubon Guardians and CTBC Brothers vs. Uni-Lions (April 29)


Gene Wang/Getty Images. Pictured: Yen Wen Kuo

The CPBL, the only professional baseball league currently playing regular-season games, is back in action on Wednesday with two games at 6:35 a.m. ET.

The Fubon Guardians (4-7) will look for their first win in five tries against the Rakuten Monkeys (8-2), and the Uni-Lions (5-6) will host the CTBC Brothers (4-6) after a couple of off-days.

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.

Rakuten Monkeys vs. Fubon Guardians Betting Odds

Monkeys odds: -270
Guardians odds: +205
Over/Under: 9.5
First pitch: 6:35 a.m. ET

Odds as of Tuesday at 7 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: Ryan Carpenter (Rakuten) vs. Chen Shih-Peng (Fubon)

A pair of southpaws will each make their third start of the season in this contest.

MLB import Ryan Carpenter got roughed up a bit in his first CPBL outing against the Lions on April 15 (6 IP, 76 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 4 K) but responded with a dominant effort on April 22 against the Brothers (6.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K):

As you can see, he’s also rocking an incredibly stylish mustache to intimidate the opposition.

Unlike his changeup-reliant teammate, Justin Nicolino, Carpenter didn’t show a reverse split at the MLB level; he was merely hit hard by everyone – allowing a .422 wOBA to left-handed hitters, and a .419 wOBA against righties; though his command against lefties (10 strikeouts, one walk) was noticeably better than against righties (32 strikeouts, 16 walks); albeit in a small sample.

Through two starts in the CPBL, lefties have reached three times in 20 plate appearances against Carpenter, with six strikeouts (30%). Right-handed hitters are 10-30, however, with just five strikeouts (17%).

To rehash what I’ve previously said about Carpenter – he’s exactly the type of pitcher who flamed out in Major League Baseball that often has success in the CPBL. Solid stats in Triple-A (strikeout per inning, 3.41 K/BB ratio) and the low minors indicate that he might have merely been a “Quadruple-A” type talent.

But he has a significant weapon in his slider – an above-average pitch in his limited MLB sample, and one that he throws nearly 30% of the time.

His opponent is Chen Shih-Peng, a 22-year-old Taiwanese pitcher who carried a respectable 4.52 FIP (4.94 is average in the CPBL) and 3.89 DIPS ERA in 2019.

Though Chen sported a 3.48 ERA in 2019, the number is mostly misleading compared to his 1.50 WHIP, subpar 13.4% strikeout rate (league average 17.9%), and 6.45% walk rate (league average 7.15), and was mostly the result of a 75% strand rate (league average 66.7%).

He’s turned in a couple of solid outings already this season, but will now face the Monkeys for the first time – coming in with a career 4.74 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, and awful 35:21 strikeout to walk ratio in 68.1 innings against the league’s best offense.

As a team, the Monkeys are hitting .452 against left-handed pitching this season.

Chen allowed at least four runs or more in six of 11 starts against the Monkeys in 2019. He had his moments – but he’s going to need to be really sharp on Wednesday to get by unscathed:

I bet one unit on Over 9.5 (-111) on this game, a 5.3% edge compared to my projection at 11.15 – and I would play that up to -115, a 4.45% edge.

However, I don’t see an actionable edge on the Guardians until their moneyline hits +250 (implied 28.5%), a 4% edge compared to my projection at +207 (32.5%). Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

I might look to play an Over on the Monkeys team total closer to game time, but I would set that cutoff at Over 5.5 (-115), a 5.38% edge.

Rakuten Monkeys vs. Fubon Guardians Picks

  • Monkeys / Guardians, Over 9.5 (-111, 1 unit)

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

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CTBC Brothers vs. Uni-Lions Betting Odds

Brothers odds: -155
Lions odds: +124
Over/Under: 10.5
First pitch: 6:35 a.m. ET

Odds as of Tuesday 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: Huang En-Sih (CTBC) vs. Donn Roach (Uni)

The big story here is the absence of Brothers’ captain and former CPBL MVP Lin Chih-sheng, who was injured in a play at the plate on Sunday:

The Brothers were already struggling offensively, average a league-worst 4.7 runs per game, and now you take one of the biggest bats out of their lineup in Lin, who finished second on the team with a .386 wOBA in 2019.

Their starting pitcher, Huang En-Sih, makes his second official start of the season, but third-appearance after the Brothers’ game on April 23 was stopped due to rain.

Huang was solid in his first start of the season against the Guardians (6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 7 K), but allowed four hits, three walks, and four runs over three innings against the Monkeys in that rainout.

This is his second season following Tommy John surgery and compared to his domestic peers Huang has pretty good stuff – a fastball in the low 90’s with major tail, paired with a nice forkball and slider:

He just needs to find more consistency in his outings.

I have discussed my lack of confidence in his opponent, Donn Roach, on a couple of occasions already. The well-traveled righty who spent time with nine MLB clubs, the KT Wiz in the KBO, and the Orix Buffaloes in the NPB has gotten off to a rocky start in the CPBL:

  • April 16: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 1 K
  • April 22: 5 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 3 K

As a reminder, Roach offers a relatively diverse 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

But he hasn’t had much success abroad – going 4-15 in the KBO with a 4.69 ERA, a 5.4 K/9 mark of 5.4, and a 3.3 BB/9. And his strikeout rate fell further, to 3.4 K/9, after he moved to Japan.

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

However, Roach was a favorite in his last outing against the Guardians and now finds himself as a significant home underdog to likely the weakest lineup he will face all season.

As a result, I held my nose and bet a half-unit on the Lions at +150 (implied 40%), a 4.9% edge compared to my projection at +118 (44.9%), and I would play that down to +140 (implied 41.6%), a 3.3% edge. Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

As for the total, I would play a half-unit on Over 10.5 (-120), a 4% edge compared to my projection at 12.48, or on Over 11 (-110), a 3.9% edge.

I waited for the juice to move down from -125 on Over 10.5 (a 3% edge) and bought in for a half-unit at 10.5 (-117), a 4.6% edge.

CTBC Brothers vs. Uni-Lions Picks

  • Lions (+150, 0.5 units)
  • Brothers / Lions, Over 10.5 (-117, 0.5 units)

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

Full CPBL Betting Card for April 29

  • Monkeys / Guardians, Over 9.5 (-111, 1 unit)
  • Lions (+150, 0.5 units)
  • Brothers / Lions, Over 10.5 (-117, 0.5 units)

CPBL Year to Date: 18-9 (+8.35 Units)

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

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