Chinese Professional Baseball League: Preview and Picks for Wednesday's CPBL Games

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Cheerleaders dance during the opening match of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL). Steven Lee / AFP

Wednesday’s CPBL action features two match-ups between an import pitcher and a local pitcher. Mike Loree will look to continue his dominance in the CPBL with the Fubon Guardians while Justin Nicolino will look to build on his most recent performance. Here are the best bets for Wednesday’s CPBL action.

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Rakuten Monkeys vs. CTBC Brothers

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 – 5:05am EST

Probable Pitchers Per CPBL Website:

  • Rakuten: Justin Nicolino (1-1 3.11 ERA)
  • CTBC: En-Sih Huang (2-0 4.45 ERA)

The CTBC Brothers are coming off a solid performance in the first of two games against the Monkeys at home. The Brothers pitched one of their import pitchers against the Monkeys’ local pitcher and it worked in their favor.

Now the Monkeys will pitch their import while the Brothers pitch a local pitcher. Will the outcome flip-flop?

Nicolino is 1-1 with a 5.16 ERA this season and hasn’t faced the Brothers yet this season. He’s had two dominant performances sandwiched between two poor performances this season. In his last outing, against the Guardians, Nicolino allowed one run in six innings, while allowing one hit, one homer, and struck out eight.

Nicolino was matched up against Loree and pitched toe-to-toe with him throughout the entire night only to get a no-decision. Nicolino is still hard to figure out but it’s concerning that the hitting of the Monkeys is starting to go silent.

Lefties are hitting Nicolino with an average of .300, which is odd knowing that Nicolino is a left-handed thrower. Righties are hitting .230 and he’s been able to strike them out 16 times in 68 plate appearances.

The Brothers will send out En-Sih Huang who is currently 2-0 with a 4.45 ERA. A 4.45 ERA is respectable for a local pitcher in the CPBL, however, he just had his worst start of the season against the Uni-Lions where he allowed seven runs on eight hits and struck out one batter in 4.1 innings of work. Huang is known for his strikeout stuff but he wasn’t fooling the Uni-Lions at all in his last start. Before that start, Huang didn’t allow more than three earned runs in his last three starts.

Huang hasn’t faced the Monkeys this season but is allowing lefties to hit .375 in 58 plate appearances. The Monkeys have some big left-handed power and can slug off of Huang who has allowed five homers this season in 28.1 innings.

Prediction

Justin Nicolino looked like he found his rhythm in his last start against the Guardians. The Brothers’ offense has looked stellar while the Monkeys offense hasn’t been great ever since the rainouts came about.

Every day we continue to think that the Monkeys might break out but they’ve struggled. However, those struggles are mostly against import pitchers. Huang will be the first local pitcher that the Monkeys will face in quite some time.

I’d roll with Nicolino and the Monkeys in this one via BetOnline. The Monkeys might finally break out offensively, especially those lefties.

Monkeys-132
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Justin Nicolino former #20 of the Miami Marlins. Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP

Uni-Lions vs. Fubon Guardians

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 – 5:35am EST

Probable Pitchers Per CPBL Website:

  • Uni-Lions: Chen-Yen Chiang (2-2 7.20 ERA)
  • Fubon: Mike Loree (2-0 2.57 ERA)

The Guardians are looking to get to .500 on the season with Mike Loree on the mound. The Uni-Lions are currently in last place with a 12-19 record on the season.

Chen-Yen Chiang will get the start for the Uni-Lions to start the two-game series. Chiang is 2-2 with a 7.20 ERA but has won his last two starts this season. He’s coming off a win against the Monkeys where he allowed six runs in five innings, including nine hits, two homers and two walks along with four strikeouts.

Oddly enough, on May 1, Chiang dominated the Guardians allowing just six hits and no runs in five innings. He hasn’t passed the 5th inning since his first start of the season in April. While his ERA is 7.20, his FIP is just as bad with a 7.27 FIP. This shows that he hasn’t been unlucky or lucky this season. He is what his stats are.

He’s got a career ERA of 5.16 but has just a 3.49 ERA against the Guardians, which is his best career stats than any other team he’s faced. That 3.49 ERA was accumulated in 87.2 innings of work and he’s 8-3 in 17 starts against Fubon.

Chiang has struggled against righties this season, allowing an average of .375. Lefties are hitting just .282 on the season. Chiang has allowed five homers and six walks in 20 innings of work this season.

Chiang’s stats are fantastic against the Guardians throughout his career. But Mike Loree’s stats have been fantastic against any team in his career.

Currently, Loree is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts this season. Loree hasn’t faced the Uni-Lions this season as both of his starts were against the hard-hitting Monkeys instead. He’s struck out 14 batters in 14 innings and has gone seven innings in each start this season. In both starts, he’s allowed six hits and two runs while walking none.

The Uni-Lions have plenty of left-hitting power but Loree is allowing lefties to hit .194 with ten strikeouts in 39 plate appearances. Righties are hitting .278 with a homer against Loree.

Last season, Loree held righties to .237 average while lefties hit .216.

For his career, Loree has a 3.16 ERA against the Uni-Lions in 419.1 innings of work. He’s got a record of 37-18 in 66 games started and has two complete games along with one shutout.

Fans wearing face masks cheer in a game between Fubon Guardians and the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions. Photo by HSU Tsun-hsu / AFP

Prediction

Loree has been extremely consistent to start the season. He’s already won two games against the league-leading Monkeys. Now he’ll go up against the 12-19 Uni-Lions who have been better hitting the ball recently.

The line is ridiculous and I wouldn’t expect anyone to take the juice on the Guardians. I’m also not relying on the runline as Chiang has been very good against the Guardians in his career even though his ERA and FIP is higher than a 7. 

With Loree on the mound, I’m more confident in the under. The runline could absolutely be the way to go too. Currently, the Guardians are the worst hitting team in the league and have an on-base percentage of .346.

To put that into perspective, the Monkeys have a .349 batting average while the Guardians have an OBP of .346. 

Projecting Loree pitches seven innings and the Guardians offense struggles early against Chiang, I like the under in this match-up.                 

Under11.5
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