Zerillo’s CPBL Betting Odds & Picks: Fubon Guardians vs. Rakuten Monkeys, Uni-President Lions vs. Chinatrust Brothers (April 18)
Gene Wang/Getty Images. Pictured: Chih Ping Lin #79 of Rakuten Monkeys reacts to a homerun.
The CPBL, the only professional baseball league currently playing games, is back in action on Saturday with two games at 5:35 a.m. ET.
The Rakuten Monkeys (3-0) will host the Fubon Guardians (2-1), and the Uni-President Lions (1-3) will visit the Chinatrust Brothers (1-3).
For more information about the CPBL, check out my opening day betting guide.
Below, you can find the listed odds for each game, alongside my projections, analysis, and bets for Saturday.
Fubon Guardians vs. Rakuten Monkeys Betting Odds
Guardians odds: +145
Monkeys odds: -185
First pitch: 5:35 a.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Chiang Kuo-Hao (Fubon) vs. Lisalverto Bonilla (Rakuten)
After a dramatic 11-10 game on Friday that saw at least five lead changes, the Monkeys and Guardians will get back to it on Saturday with a couple of starters making their first appearances of the season.
Dominican righty Lisalverto Bonilla will throw for Rakuten. He spent time with the Rangers, Phillies, Dodgers, Pirates, Reds, and Indians organizations, and tossed 57 combined MLB innings between the 2014 and 2017 MLB seasons.
More recently, he pitched for Samsung in the KBO league (5.95 ERA in 2018), and for multiple teams in the Mexican League and Dominican Winter League; albeit without much success.
In seven seasons, 80 games, and 246 innings of foreign professional baseball, Bonilla has a 5.19 ERA, 7.9 K/9, and 3.6 BB/9 (2.17 K/BB).
During his brief time in MLB, Bonilla’s arsenal consisted of a fastball (92-93 mph), curveball (80-81 mph) and changeup (85 mph) — distributed on a 50/25/25 basis.
But despite his major league pedigree, I’m expecting something around a league-average pitcher in the CPBL.
Fubon’s 22-year-old righty Chiang Kuo-Hao was a 2019 draft selection. He pitched in 11 games (2 starts) in 2019 after leaving college.
He has a slight build and is a relatively soft tosser, but he also has smooth, repeatable mechanics, which should enable his command to develop rather quickly.
Facing the CPBL’s best offense is a tough assignment for this youngster — but with their listed odds at +160 (implied 38.5%), I bet a 6.1% percent edge on the Guardians’ moneyline compared to my projection at +124 (implied 44.6%), and I would play it down to +144, a 3.5% edge.
Uni-President Lions vs. Chinatrust Brothers Betting Odds
Lions odds: +108
Brothers odds: -135
First pitch: 5:35 a.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Ryan Feierabend (Uni) vs. Ariel Miranda (Chinatrust)
A pair of CPBL imports will make their second starts of the season after facing off in the season opener last Sunday.
Both Ryan Feierabend (5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K) and Ariel Miranda (5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 7 K) pitched effectively, in a game won by the Uni-Lions 4-1 in 11 innings.
Miranda utilized his fastball/splitter combination, while Feierabend let his knuckleball dance — and each shook off a solo home run from the opposing lineup.
Go Kevin! K.W.Cheng hits foul pole for the 1st Home Run of the world in 2020.
— CPBL 中華職棒 (@CPBL) April 12, 2020
Saturday’s total seems excessively low at 8.5. When these teams played last Sunday the total was listed at 11.5 – and now its three full runs lower.
To be fair, the Brothers have appeared to be in an offensive funk – scoring four of their six runs on Friday directly from errors – and the range of possible performance outcomes against Feierabend’s knuckleball varies wildly.
Furthermore, the Uni-Lions have looked inept against foreign pitchers and might struggle to score once again.
That said, there’s an 11.9% edge in betting over 8.5 (+100) for this contest, compared to my projection at 10.83 – so I’ll play the odds in a league that averages 11 runs scored per game, and bet it to Over 9 (-110), a 6.77% edge.
Additionally, I bet the Brothers to win a half unit at -125 (implied 55.6%), a 4.3% edge compared to my projection at -149 (implied 59.9%)
CPBL Bets for April 18
- Fubon Guardians (+160, 0.5 units)
- Chinatrust Brothers (-125, 0.5 units)
- Brothers/Lions, Over 8.5 (+100, 0.5 units)
CPBL Year to Date: 7-1 (+5.23 Units)