The first baseball game of the 2020s played in front of a live audience, anywhere in the world, took place in Taiwan on May 8th. 1,000 lucky fans watched the Fubon Guardians face off against the Uni-President Lions after the recent pause in professional baseball around the world. 2020 Chinese Taipei CPBL Betting Tips looks at baseball on the island, and possible champions for the 2020 season.
The four teams in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) had been playing in empty stadiums. Though not completely empty – cardboard cutouts of fans and drum-beating robots sat in the stadium, while cheerleaders broadcast their routines via video call. Despite the vacant stands, however, the league was not being ignored. That night, as the Guardians beat the lions 7–6, the game’s livestream got more than 1.1 million views on Twitter. And while the average attendance at a game last year was about 6,000 people, so far, this year’s games are averaging at least 700,000 Twitter views.
CPBL still relatively unknown
The CPBL is still relatively unknown, unlike NPB in Japan, which feeds players to the U.S, and the KBO in South Korea, which has attracted the attention of sports giant ESPN. You can read more about the KBO here 2020 KBO Betting Predictions Favour NC Dinos and Kiwoom Heroes. But the CPBL also saw foreign fans starved of baseball tuning in as Taiwan was one of the few places in the world hosting live sports. When it became clear in mid-April the MLB season would not be opening on schedule, Eleven Sports Taiwan decided to take a shot at the huge global audience hungry for live sports.
Richard Wang was hired to call games in English, but given only a few days to prepare. He spent them riding his motorbike around Taipei, listening to old MLB games through his helmet, and practising his lines. The first five games alone collectively received more than 5 million views on Twitter — and not just among fans in the U.S. missing their teams, but also from viewers in Singapore and Japan. All of the league’s four teams began streaming games with English commentary, racking up millions of views.
Rob Liu, who runs the English-language CPBL Stats blog, said “This is the biggest secret little league that no one knows about… for the first time in 31 years, people are finding out there’s baseball going on in Taiwan”. And traffic to his site has increased tenfold, mainly from the US and Canada. The CPBL is also now being added to many online sportsbooks, so if you want to check out 2020 Chinese Taipei CPBL betting tips and see what markets are available, have a look at online gambling sites in the USA.
What can you expect from the CPBL?
Just like NBP and KBO, the CPBL is the land of cheering squads, colourful stadiums and constant team songs. The Atmosphere is Infectious – there are drums, trumpets and fans chanting and dancing in support of their favourite team. Batters even have their own unique theme song blasting at full volume during their at-bats. And after many years of playing in relative obscurity, the teams finally have the opportunity to showcase themselves.
The CPBL is a hitter-friendly league, and runs are through the roof. There are home runs everywhere, and it’s not uncommon to see teams putting more than ten runs on the scoreboard. This is partly due to a lack of high-tier pitchers, stacked lineup and smaller strike zone. There were ‘juiced ball’ allegations in the 2016 season when the number of home runs spiked to 2.5 per game, but it has since returned to a more reasonable range. CPBL players rarely lay down a bunt, prefering to swing for the fences or put the ball in play and hope for the best. This makes the game extremely entertaining to watch – it’s not uncommon to see the bullpen blow a ridiculously large lead in the seventh, eighth or ninth innings.
So why watch, when you have MLB, NBP and KBO? The standard in the CPBL may be lower, but this hides the fact that many players would probably make an MLB roster, and that all players are capable of standout play. The difference in quality is most easily seen on the defensive side, with drops between fielders and grounders being fumbled. But this actually makes the games exciting – there are loads of runs, and the style is contact heavy, and aggressive.
2020 Chinese Taipei CPBL Betting Tips favour CTBC Brothers and Rakuten Monkeys
The CPBL is currently at its smallest for sometime, with four teams. The league will expand to five teams in 2021, however, with the return of the Wei-Chuan Dragons. So here they are, with odds on taking the championship available from 1xBet Sportsbook:
CTBC Brothers 2.18. With 7 championships, comparable to the Yankees, loved and hated with equal vigour. One of four founding clubs of the CPBL they played the first game in CPBL history in 1990. The club clinched the title three years in a row from 1992 – 1994, and then again from 2001- 2003. They have already won the first-half season title for 2020, and punched their ticket to the playoff.
Rakuten Monkeys 2.5. Founded 17 years ago, also with 7 championships, and reigning champions having won the last three years in a row. They represented the CPBL at the Asia Series in 2012 and finished as runner-up.
Uni Lions 6.5. The only remaining CPBL founding team that has never been resold. They are the most successful team in CPBL with 8 championships, although their last victory was in 2013. They are also the only CPBL club to have made four appearances in the Asia Series, and the only club whose main star is a Taiwanese pitcher, Pan Wei-Lun.
Fubon Guardians 8.3. Founded 27 years ago, they have trouble winning the big game, with only three championship victories to date. Hong I-Chung, the manager with the most victories and championships in CPBL history, has taken over at the club.
So if you are looking for betting opportunities on a whole new league, visit our trusted online sportsbooks in the USA – what with MLB, NPB, KBO and now CPBL, it’s baseball o’clock somewhere.