Upcoming Match-ups

NPB Odds, Picks & Best Bets for July 16: Buffaloes Look to Bring Hawks Back to Earth

Hokkaido Fighters right-hander Drew VerHagen.
Hokkaido Fighters right-hander Drew VerHagen is 1-0 with a 4.41 ERA this season. Photo by Roger DeWitt (WIki Commons).
  • Fighters counting on VerHagen to lead them to second straight win over Marines
  • Despite consecutive defeats, Orix hopeful of bringing high-flying Hawks down to earth
  • See odds and best bets for all six Nippon Professional Baseball games on July 16

With five consecutive wins, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, the defending Nippon Professional Baseball champions, are currently climbing up the Pacific League standings. Now just two games back of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, the Hawks are in the midst of a six-game series with the last-place Orix Buffaloes, and having won the first two, are looking for more.

However, Orix had been in something of a revival before those losses, losing just one of eight games prior to that. Former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones is capturing the imagination of the fans, and is closing in on 2,000 hits combined between both the major leagues and the Japanese leagues.

The Buffaloes will be confident of bouncing back on Thursday, but before we look at that game, here’s a look at all of NPB’s slate of games.

NPB Odds: July 16th

Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks -1.5 (-125) -215 O 8 (-115) 5 a.m.
Orix Buffaloes +1.5 (-105) +175 U 8 (-115)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Yokohama DeNA Baystars -1.5 (+145) -115 O 8 (-115) 5 a.m.
Chunichi Dragons +1.5 (-175) -115 U 8 (-115)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Tokyo Yakult Swallows -1.5 (+130) -125 O 8 (-115) 5 a.m.
Hanshin Tigers +1.5 (-160) -105 U 8 (-115)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Yomiuri Giants -1.5 (+100) -150 O 8.5 (-115) 5 a.m.
Hiroshima Toyo Carp +1.5 (-130) +120 U 8.5 (-115)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Chiba Lotte Marines -1.5 (+125) -130 O 7.5 (-115) 5 a.m.
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters +1.5 (-155) +100 U 7.5 (-115)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Saitama Seibu Lions +1.5 (-120) +140 O 9 (-115) 5 a.m.
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles -1.5 (-110) -170 U 9 (-115)

Odds as of July 15th.

Hokkaido Turns To VerHagen

The Chiba Lotte Marines may very much be the favorites in Thursday’s matchup with the Nippon-Ham Fighters, but Hokkaido will be hoping that the presence of Drew VerHagen on the mound will be the great equalizer.

Pitchers don’t play in six consecutive major-league seasons unless they have some measure of ability about them, and after spending those six seasons with the Detroit Tigers, the right-hander may well be still finding his feet in NPB.

The Fighters will be hoping that VerHagen can return to the form he showed in his first start in Japan, when he spread three hits and one walk over six innings, giving up just one earned run in an 8-5 over the Tohoku Golden Eagles late last month.

Since then, the 29-year-old hasn’t been so fortunate, giving up seven more earned runs over 10.1 innings to move his ERA out to 4.41.

In contrast, Chiba’s starter has seemingly improved with every season he’s played at this level, lowering his ERA from 4.56 his first year to 1.69 in this, his third season in Japan’s big leagues. Daiki Iwashita is 2-0 on the year, and 8-6 in his career, with a 3.66 ERA.

Pick: Fighters (+100); U 7.5 (-115)

Buffaloes Look To Stop Streaking Hawks

Currently on a season-best five-game win streak, the two-time defending-champion Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have started their series at Orix Buffaloes with a real sense of purpose, winning both contests. And neither game has been close, with Fukuoka triumphing 10-3 and then 7-0 on Wednesday.

Orix will turn to Sachiya Yamasaki to help turn the tide. The left-hander has enjoyed a decent 2020 so far, giving up five earned runs but just eight hits over 10 innings, although his accuracy has been something of an issue. Yamasaki has issued eight walks too.

Fukuoka’s starter is no sure thing, however. Rick van den Hurk has struggled so far in 2020 after a decent 2019 campaign, where he posted an ERA of 3.12 in a small sample size of just three games.

This year, in the same three-game sample, he is 1-1 with a 6.38 ERA, having given up 13 earned runs in just 18.1 innings. More worrying is the sharp increase in his WHIP rate, moving from 0.865 last year to 1.255 this season.

Pick: Buffaloes (+175); O 8 (-115)

Author Image
Discussion

Let's have fun and keep it civil.