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NPB Odds, Picks & Best Bets for July 21: Marines Take Aim at Lions

Chiba Marines pitcher Manabu Mima.
In his first season with Chiba, Manabu Mima is 2-1 in four starts, with a 3.65 earned-run average across 24.2 innings. Photo by Cake6 (WIki Commons).
  • Things can’t get much worse for Orix Buffaloes, who enter six-games series with Tohoku
  • Chiba Marines are right in the mix in Pacific League and have favorable pitching matchup Tuesday
  • Odds and best bets below for all six Nippon Professional Baseball games on Tuesday, July 21

The standings are still fairly tightly bunched in Nippon Professional Baseball with more than a fifth of the pandemic-shortened 120-game season already in the books.

The Yomiuri Giants and Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles lead their leagues with 16 wins apiece, while the Orix Buffaloes remain the bottom team in all of Japanese baseball with nine wins to their credit.

Orix is in tough to improve its record this week, going up against the Pacific League-leading Golden Eagles. Before we take a look at their chances, here are all of Tuesday’s games and odds.

NPB Odds: July 21st

Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Chiba Lotte Marines +1.5 (-180) +110 O 9.5 (EVEN) 5 a.m.
Saitama Seibu Lions -1.5 (+135) -145 U 9.5 (-135)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Hiroshima Toyo Carp -1.5 (+160) -115 O 7.5 (-130) 5 a.m.
Hanshin Tigers +1.5 (-215) -115 U 7.5 (-105)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters +1.5 (-115) +195 O 7.5 (-120) 5 a.m.
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks -1.5 (-115) -270 U 7.5 (-110)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Orix Buffaloes +1.5 (-140) +150 O 8.5 (-105) 5 a.m.
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles -1.5 (+105) -200 U 8.5 (-125)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Tokyo Yakult Swallows +1.5 (-205) EVEN O 8.5 (-115) 5 a.m.
Yokohama DeNA Baystars -1.5 (+155) -135 U 8.5 (-115)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Yomiuri Giants -1.5 (-145) -275 O 7.5 (-115) 5 a.m.
Chunichi Dragons +1.5 (+110) +205 U 7.5 (-115)

Odds as of July 20th.

Marines Have Sights Set on Top Two

The Chiba Marines have neatly alternated wins and losses for the last 10 days, but that .500 clip has kept them humming along nicely in third in the Pacific League.

Beginning a six-game series at the fourth-placed Seibu Lions, Chiba can cut into the marginal leads that both first-place Tohoku and second-placed Fukuoka currently hold.

The presence of Manabu Mima on the mound Tuesday would suggest they can do exactly that. In his first season with Chiba, the right-hander is 2-1 in four starts, with a 3.65 earned-run average across 24.2 innings.

That ERA is marginally better than his career average; in 10 seasons, he has a 3.82 mark.

The Lions counter with Tatsuya Imai, who is having something of a disastrous 2020 campaign. The 22-year-old right-hander is 1-3 in four starts, has a 6.14 ERA, and a WHIP of almost 2.00, having given up 22 hits and 19 walks in 22 innings pitched. In 42 NPB games, Imai is 13-17 with a 4.65 ERA.

Pick: Marines (+110); U 9.5 (-135)

Buffaloes Down But Not Out

With an NPB-low .365 winning percentage, a Pacific League-low 92 runs scored, and coming off three consecutive defeats, things aren’t exactly looking rosy for the Orix Buffaloes.

Things don’t get any easier this week as Orix begins a six-game set at Tohoku against the league-leading Golden Eagles, owners of the most potent offense in NPB with 155 runs scored.

But there are seeds of hope to be found in Tuesday’s pitching matchup. Orix will be sending left-hander Andrew Albers to the mound, and while he is still some way off his 2018 debut numbers (9-2 record and a 3.08 ERA), his 1-2 mark in four starts doesn’t really do justice to his performance. He has posted a 3.48 ERA across 20.2 innings isn’t bad and has been the victim of minimal run support.

Albers’ numbers positively sparkle in comparison with Tohoku’s starter, Ryota Ishibashi, who owns a 7.20 ERA in 20 innings to go along with a 1-3 record in four starts. Ishibashi posted a 3.82 ERA in 127.1 innings last year.

Pick: Buffaloes (+150); O 8.5 (-105)

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