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NPB Odds, Picks & Best Bets for July 24: Buffaloes Bucking in Series with Eagles

Orix outfielder Takahiro Okada.
Takahiro Okada has a team-leading 20 RBI for Orix this season. Photo by Cake6 (Wiki Commons).
  • Yomiuri Giants bounce back with a victory, but now face second-place Swallows in weekend series
  • Orix Buffaloes have yet to lose halfway through six-game series with Tohoku Eagles, who are favored again on Friday
  • Below, find the odds and best bets for all six Nippon Professional Baseball games on Friday, July 24

With just one loss in their past nine games, the Yomiuri Giants are starting to put some daylight between themselves and the second-placed Tokyo Yakult Swallows at the top of the Central League; the 22-time Japan Series champions have opened up a four-game advantage.

But parity is the name of the game in the Pacific League, with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (16-12) holding a slight half-game lead over the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (16-13). It likely won’t stay that way for long though.

Before getting to Friday’s best bets, here are the moneyline, runline, and game totals for all six NPB games on July 24.

NPB Odds: July 24th

Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Yomiuri Giants -1.5 (-130) -230 O 10.5 (EVEN) 5 a.m.
Tokyo Yakult Swallows +1.5 (EVEN) +170 U 10.5 (-135)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Chiba Lotte Marines +1.5 (-155) +135 O 8.5 (-135) 5 a.m.
Saitama Seibu Lions -1.5 (+120) -175 U 8.5 (+105)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Hiroshima Toyo Carp -1.5 (-105) -190 O 8.5 (EVEN) 5 a.m.
Yokohama DeNA Baystars +1.5 (-125) +145 U 8.5 (-130)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters +1.5 (-190) +120 O 6.5 (-135) 5 a.m.
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks -1.5 (+145) -160 U 6.5 (EVEN)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Orix Buffaloes +1.5 (-105) +215 O 7.5 (-110) 5 a.m.
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles -1.5 (-125) -290 U 7.5 (-120)
Team Runline Win Over/Under Run Total Game Time (Eastern)
Hanshin Tigers -1.5 (+145) -135 O 6.5 (-120) 5 a.m.
Chunichi Dragons +1.5 (-195) +105 U 6.5 (-110)

Odds as of July 23rd.

Swallows Hope to Hold Giants Back

The Giants wasted little time getting back into the win column after seeing their seven-game winning streak end on Thursday. But it took a five-run eighth-inning to blow open a 1-1 game with Chunichi to do so.

That six-run outing was the most offense that Yomiuri has mustered since its 9-4 victory over Hiroshima a week ago. Yet the Over/Under on the Giants has been set at 10.5.

Admittedly, they are going up against a pitcher who has just one NPB game under his belt. And it did not go well for right-hander Daiki Yoshida, with the 22-year-old giving up five earned runs over 2.1 innings, with just one strikeout. However, he has performed admirably in the minors so far this season, with a 2-0 record in three starts and a 1.80 ERA in 10 innings.

Pick: U 10.5 (-135); Swallows +1.5 (EVEN)

Buffaloes Can Keep Good Times Rolling

The six-game series between Orix and Tohoku had, on paper, looked to be something of a mismatch. On one side, you had the highest-scoring offense in NPB in the shape of the Eagles, who have registered 167 runs so far, propelling Tohoku to first in the Pacific League.

On the other, you had the Orix Buffaloes, the last-place team in the PL, whose offense has mustered just 115 runs.

But all that went out the window over the first three games of the series, with Orix exploding for 21 runs in the first two games to cruise to victories, before settling for a 2-2 tie on Thursday.

The pitching matchup for Friday’s game looks heavily slanted towards the Golden Eagles.

The Buffaloes are sending Tsubasa Sakakibara to the mound, complete with his 0-1 record in three games this season and 3.77 ERA over 14.1 innings. The right-hander has traditionally been better than that though, as his career 2.98 ERA shows.

With just one victory in their last six games, Tohoku is turning to Takahiro Norimoto to help snap it out of its slumber. The right-hander is 3-1 this season in five starts, with an ERA of just 1.93, having given up just two home runs in 32.2 innings.

But that ERA is somewhat out of keeping with his eight-year NPB career though, with the 29-year-old having an 83-64 record with a 3.02 ERA.

Pick: Buffaloes (+215); O 7.5 (-110)

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