Things got weird in the CPBL. CPBL divides the season into two halves, and the champion from each half gets to play in the Taiwan Series.
That’s the simplified version and was how the league done things for awhile. However, teams discovered quickly that they can just concentrate on winning a half season, and then let their stars rest up for the other half. What ended up happening was often the team with most wins for the entire season wasn’t in the postseason because it failed to secure a half season title.
The league tried to address this with several iterations of wildcard rules. Currently, the postseason rules are as followed:
If a team won both half seasons, it is guaranteed a place in the Taiwan Series and is given an advantage by being awarded with 1 win in TS automatically. The teams with 2nd and 3rd most wins for the entire season plays a 3 out of 5 challenger series.
If the team with the best season record failed to secure either half season titles, it will play the challenger series with the half-season champion team with the worst full season record.
After a seemingly unstoppable early season winning streak ended for the Rukuten Monkeys, the bullpen pretty much dissolved and the team lost the first half season title to the Chinatrust Brothers by 3 games.
Things went down hill from there in the second half, and the Monkeys now sit squarely at the last place of the half season.
For a while the Monkeys tried to gain a ticket in to the postseason through rule 2, by maintaining the best record for the full season. That is now an impossible task as they are now 6.5 games out from that position.
So they have to try to get there through rule 1. Meaning the Chinatrust Brothers has to hold the title for both half seasons, and the Monkeys can play the challenger series as the team with the team with the 2nd or 3rd best season record.
The Monkeys are now in a even bigger pickle because the Brothers have been losing as well and are 2 games out from the second half season title. For the bottom half season, the Brothers are currently in 3rd place behind the Guardians and the Lions.
There are only 7 games left before the postseason. 2 between the Guardians and the Lions, 2 between the Brothers and the Monkeys, 1 between the Guardians the the Brothers, 1 between the Monkeys and the Gaurdians, and 1 between the Brothers and the Lions.
The Brothers to win every game to take the second half season title. The Monkeys needs that to happen to keep their postseason chances alive. There are 2 games between the Brothers and the Monkeys this weekend. Now, that’s some serious drama.
The Monkeys will have to lose to win. If they win they actually lose.
It’s pretty messed up, and frankly not the first time this kind of thing happened in the CPBL. The half seasons deserve a place in history and nowhere else.