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Nippon Professional Baseball Odds, Picks & Best Bets for July 9: Eagles Will Soar in Battle of the Birds

Golden Eagles infielder Hideto Asamura.
Golden Eagles infielder Hideto Asamura is leading all of the NPB with nine home runs in 2020. Photo by Jtwya (Wiki Commons).
  • Tohoku Golden Eagles have scored an NPB-best 108 runs and are torching opposing pitchers
  • After eight-game win streak earlier this season, Chiba Marines search for another streak
  • See odds and best bets for all the Nippon Professional Baseball game on July 9

While it’s way too early in the season for any clear favorites to emerge in the Pacific Division, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles are currently flying high. With 108 runs scored and five of the top-10 batters in Nippon Professional Baseball, they are simply clobbering opponents into submission.

It’s currently the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks’ turn to take their licks, but after edging the first game of the series 4-3, the Eagles roared into gear in the second contest, chasing the Hawks’ starter after just two innings en route to a 12-8 victory.

Game three goes Thursday, but before we get to that, here’s a look at all of tomorrow’s odds.

NPB Odds: July 9th

Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters -1.5 (+140) -130 O 8.5 (EVEN) 5 a.m.
Orix Buffaloes +1.5 (-185) -105 U 8.5 (-135)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Saitama Seibu Lions -1.5 (+150) -120 O 8.5 (EVEN) 5 a.m.
Chiba Lotte Marines +1.5 (-200) -115 U 8.5 (-135)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Tokyo Yakult Swallows -1.5 (+165) -110 O 7.5 (-125) 5 a.m.
Chunichi Dragons +1.5 (-220) -120 U 7.5 (-105)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Yokohama DeNa BayStars +1.5 (-175) +120 O 7.5 (-120) 5 a.m.
Hiroshima Toyo Carp -1.5 (+130) -160 U 7.5 (-115)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Yomiuri Giants -1.5 (+120) -170 O 6.5 (-155) 5 a.m.
Hanshin Tigers +1.5 (-155) +130 U 6.5 (+120)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles +1.5 (-175) +115 O 8.5 (-125) 5 a.m.
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks -1.5 (+135) -155 U 8.5 (-110)

Odds as of July 8th

Marines on the Lookout for Victory

Chiba has been in a rut of late, with just two wins in its last eight games. But thanks to its outstanding 8-1 start to the 2020 season, it’s still very much in the running in the Pacific Division, and sits just two games back of the first-place Tohoku.

After splitting the first two games of their six-game series against the third-place Seibu Lions, it’s time for the Marines to make hay.

Right-hander Daiki Iwashita gives them a chance to do that on Thursday. With the lowest ERA among the Chiba starters (1.69), the 23-year-old is in just his third NPB season with an 8-6 career record. His ERA has improved each year, moving from 4.56 in his rookie season to 3.64 in 2019.

After Wednesday’s 3-0 shutout win, the Lions will turn to Keisuke Honda. The right-hander has had a mixed bag so far in 2020, with an 0-1 record and a 3.72 ERA in 9.2 innings. But he has proved somewhat susceptible to the long ball, surrendering three homers among the four earned runs he’s given up.

Pick: Marines (-115); U 8.5 (-135)

Eagles Soar in Battle of the Birds

With 108 runs scored thus far, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles possess the most potent offense in NPB; in fact, they are the only club to reach triple digits.

After a 12-8 thumping of the Fukuoka Hawks on Wednesday, the Eagles will be relying on their offense to deliver on Thursday, as Tohoku is turning to one of the shakier arms in its rotation in the shape of Takahiro Shiomi. The left-hander has a 10.61 ERA on the season, having given up 11 earned runs through 9.1 innings.

But with four of the top-five batting leaders in NPB, a quartet that accounts for 64 RBI, it should be a long night for Rick van den Hurk, who is taking the mound for the Hawks.

Van den Hurk’s career ERA in Japan is 3.54, not that much better than Shiomi’s 3.75. And the right-hander has also shown a greater tendency to give up home runs, surrendering homers at a rate of 1.1/game in NPB, slightly more than Shiomi’s 1.0.

Against a lineup like Tohoku’s, and especially against the leading home-run hitter in Japanese baseball – Hideto Asamura (nine) – it could be a long evening for the former Baltimore Oriole.

Pick: Eagles (+115); O 8.5 (-125)

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