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Nippon Professional Baseball Odds, Picks & Best Bets for June 26

The Seibu Dome, home of the Lions
The Seibu Dome, home of the Lions. Photo by Tokoro_ten (Wiki Commons).
  • The Chiba Lotte Marines now own an NPB-best 5-1 record
  • With a 2-6 start, the Seibu Lions will be hoping Zach Neal’s 13-1 career record can put them back in the win column
  • See the odds and best bets for all the Nippon Professional Baseball action taking place on June 26th

While Major League Baseball still mulls over the details of how its teams can safely return to the diamond, the Nippon Professional Baseball circuit ticks over regardless.

The Chiba Lotte Marines continue to set the early pace, having won five games in a row. They will turn to experienced right-hander Ayumu Ishikawa of Friday to lead them to a sixth straight victory, and third consecutive against the Pacific League-worst Orix Buffaloes.

One place above the Buffaloes in the standings, the 2-6 Seibu Lions will turn to former Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Zach Neal to get them back to winning ways after two straight losses against the defending champions, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

But before we delve into those matchups, here are all the odds for Friday’s games.

NPB Odds: June 26th

Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Hiroshima Toyo Carp -1.5 (+105) -150 O 7.0 (-120) 5 a.m.
Chunichi Dragons +1.5 (-135) -135 U 7.0 (-110)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters +1.5 (-180) +120 O 7.0 (-115) 5 a.m.
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles -1.5 (+150) -150 U 7.0 (-115)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks +1.5 (-200) -115 O 8.5 (-115) 5 a.m.
Saitama Seibu Lions -1.5 (+160) -115 U 8.5 (-115)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Hanshin Tigers +1.5 (-175) +115 O 7.0 (-125) 5 a.m.
Yokohama DeNa BayStars -1.5 (+145) -145 U 7.0 (-105)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Orix Buffaloes +1.5 (-180) +115 O 7.0 (-125) 5 a.m.
Chiba Lotte Marines -1.5 (+150) -145 U 7.0 (-105)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Yomiuri Giants -1.5 (-125) -200 O 8.5 (-115) 5 a.m.
Tokyo Yakult Swallows +1.5 (-105) +160 U 8.5 (-115)

Odds as of June 25

Don’t Bet Against Neal

If there’s such a thing as a sure thing on the pitching mound in NPB, it’s Seibu Lions pitcher Zach Neal. In his second season in Japan after a brief major-league career that saw him make appearances with the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Dodgers, the 31-year-old right-hander seems to have found the perfect landing spot in the Tokyo suburbs.

Neal went 12-1 with a 2.87 ERA in 2019, helping lead the Seibu Lions to the Pacific League regular-season crown, although they were upended in the playoffs in five games by the SoftBank Hawks, the same team that has handed them two straight losses.

After giving up just one hit in six innings during last Friday’s season-opening shutout win over the Nippon-Ham Fighters, Neal will take the mound once again.

So far Seibu has provided its pitchers with decent run support; its 25 runs in six games are just one back of the Marines for the Pacific League-lead. With Neal putting his .929 NPB winning percentage and 2.71 ERA on the line, the Lions may only need a fraction of that offense to get back in the win column.

Pick: Lions (-115); Under 8.5 (-115)

Streaking Away

After Thursday’s 5-0 shutout win over the Orix Buffaloes, the Chiba Lotte Marines are officially the hottest team in Japanese baseball. At 5-1 overall, they are the squad with the best record, too. The fact they recorded a 5-0 win while their best hitter, Brandon Laird, posted a sub-par 0-for-4 night points to the depth of the roster.

In fact, it was left to the eighth batter in the lineup, Shogo Nakamura, to produce most of the offense. The light-hitting second baseman, who entered the game batting .167, went 3-for-4 with a grand slam. That powered Chiba to a five-run first inning which were all the runs the team would need.

After two straight wins over the worst team in Japanese baseball, as part of a six-game series, the Marines will look to build on their hot start on Friday behind the pitching of right-hander Ayumu Ishikawa. He is in his seventh season in Nippon Professional Baseball and has a career ERA of 3.43.

Ishikawa took a no-decision after pitching six innings of shutout ball in last Friday’s season-opening loss against the SoftBank Hawks.

Orix will look to arrest their losing skid – which has reached three games – on the arm right-hander Taisuke Yamaoka, who gave up just one run through seven innings in Friday’s 1-9 loss to the Rakuten Golden Eagles. In his fourth season in NPB, Yamaoka has a career ERA of 3.75.

Pick: Marines (-145); Under 7.0 (-105)

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