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Nippon Professional Baseball Odds, Picks & Best Bets for July 4: Eagles, Marines Set for Pitching Duel

Tohoku Golden Eagles pitcher Takayuki Kishi.
Former Japan Series MVP Takayuki Kishi is set to make his first appearance of the season in NPB. Photo by Eargus (Wiki Commons).
  • With identical 9-4 records, the Tohoku Golden Eagles and Chiba Marines continue to tussle for the Pacific Division
  • Orix Buffaloes send one of their best pitchers to the mound against Seibu Lions with chance for rare victory
  • See odds and best bets for all the Nippon Professional Baseball action taking place on Saturday, July 4th

While the Yomiuri Giants (9-3-1) are back atop the Central Division standings and beginning to roll after winning four of five, it’s beginning to look like a two-horse race over in the Pacific Division. Both the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles and Chiba Lotte Marines have designs on the division crown, and are currently locked in a six-game series to take the early lead in the race.

Elsewhere in Nippon Professional Baseball, teams such as the Orix Buffaloes are just hoping to register another win, after tasting victory just once in their last 10 games.

Before we focus on those battles, here’s a look at the odds for all of tomorrow’s action in Japanese baseball’s top league.

NPB Odds: July 4th

Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Chiba Lotte Marines +1.5 (-190) +110 O 8.5 (-115) 1 a.m.
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles -1.5 (+140) -145 U 8.5 (-115)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks -1.5 (+115) -160 O 7.5 (-135) 1 a.m.
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters +1.5 (-150) +120 U 7.5 (+105)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Chunichi Dragons +1.5 (-135) +160 O 8.5 (-115) 1 a.m.
Yomiuri Giants -1.5 (EVEN) -215 U 8.5 (-115)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Hanshin Tigers +1.5 (-130) +170 O 7.5 (-110) 1 a.m.
Hiroshima Toyo Carp -1.5 (EVEN) -225 U 7.5 (-120)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Orix Buffaloes +1.5 (-160) +125 O 8.5 (-120) 5 a.m.
Saitama Seibu Lions -1.5 (+125) -170 U 8.5 (-110)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Yokohama DeNa BayStars +1.5 (-170) +120 O 9.5 (-130) 5 a.m.
Tokyo Yakult Swallows -1.5 (+130) -160 U 9.5 (EVEN)

Odds as of July 3rd.

Time for Tajima

With a record of 2-10, wins have been hard to come by for the Orix Buffaloes this season. So when one of their better pitchers takes the mound, bettors have to jump on it.

That’s certainly the case on Saturday, as Orix puts its faith in Daiki Tajima, the young left-hander with the second-best earned-run average (1.54) on the entire staff. Tajima has pitched 11.2 innings  and is yet to pick up a win with a pair of no-decisions so far. But he has also struck out 10 and is yet to give up a home run.

The Seibu Lions, who lead the six-game series 2-1-1 through four games, counter with Wataru Matsumoto (0-1, 8.68 ERA). The right-hander has pitched 9.1 innings over two games, with five strikeouts, nine earned runs, and two homers surrendered. Despite a 7-4 career record, the second-year pitcher’s 4.54 ERA doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence.

Pick: Buffaloes (+125); O 8.5 (-120)

Marines Have Eagles in Their Sights

Two starts into his 2020 campaign, Atsuki Taneichi (0-0) has started to look like the ace of the Chiba staff even though he has been held without a win, largely due to issues of run support. His 1.38 ERA is the lowest on the Marines, and he is averaging nine strikeouts per nine innings, giving up two earned runs – on a pair of home runs – in 13 innings.

To date, he’s improved on his breakout 2019 sophomore campaign, where he went 8-2 with a 3.24 ERA.

The Tohoku Eagles are countering with veteran experience, turning to 35-year-old former Japan Series MVP Takayuki Kishi, who is making his first appearance of the season in NPB after beginning the year in the minors.

Injuries limited his 2019 season to just 15 games, and his 3.56 ERA was the second-highest mark of his 13-year career. But he performed well in his solitary appearance in the minors this season, giving up four hits and one run in five innings, striking out six.

Saturday’s contest between the two teams tied at the top of the Pacific Division should be something of a pitcher’s duel.

Pick: Marines (+110); U 8.5 (-115)

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