Nippon Professional Baseball Picks: July 10th Betting Odds

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Nippon Professional Baseball Picks: July 10th Betting Odds
Photo by STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP

We’re going to have to start getting used to ties in the NPB. We’ve seen back-to-back ties this week on Wednesday and Thursday and those ties are going to continue to push our bets. It’s like these teams played for no reason after the 10 innings finish. We’ll look to fade the potential games that could tie. Here’s a look at the best bets for Friday’s slate in the NPB.

Yomiuri Giants vs. Yakult Swallows

Friday July 10, 2020 – 5:00am EST

Probable Pitchers Per NPB site:

  • Yomiuri: Shosei Togo (2-0 2.77 ERA)
  • Yakult: Masanori Ishikawa (0-1 5.65 ERA)

The Yomiuri Giants watched their first two games of the week-day series wash out due to rain. In the final game of the series, the Giants scored just one run and lost to the Hanshin Tigers 2-1. The Swallows, on the other hand, are coming off a 8-6 victory over the Chunichi Dragons.

The Giants are still in first place in the Central division with a 10-5 record. We’ve talked about how this team seems to only get going against bullpens and that was the case in Thursday’’s match-up.

The Swallows aren’t far behind, sitting at 9-7 on the season and 1.5 games out of first place in the Central.

The Giants will pitch Shosei Togo who is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA. Togo has won both of his games this season. Togo shut down the BayStars in his last outing, going 6.1 innings, while allowing two hits, two runs, three walks, and four strikeouts.

Hitters are currently hitting .182 against Togo on the season. Togo is now 3-0 in the NPB with a 2.49 ERA in four games. The 20-year-old dominated in the minors last season, going 4-1 with a 3 ERA in 11 games.

In his four games started in the NPB, Togo is averaging 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings and is walking 3.3 batters per nine innings. He’s also limited hits to just 5.8 per nine innings. Of course, this is a very small sample size but there’s plenty of potential with Togo moving forward.

He’ll go up against Masanori Ishikawa who is 0-1 on the season with a 5.65 ERA in three games started. In those three games, he’s only pitched 14.1 innings and has allowed 23 hits and nine earned runs in those three games. He’s struck out 10 and walked five while also allowing two home runs.

Ishikawa, through three games, has a WHIP of 1.95 and is allowing 14.4 hits per nine innings. This is a match-up between an old veteran and a shiny new star in the making. Ishikawa is that veteran. He’s 40 years old and looks to be regressing at this point. For his career, he’s gone 171-164 with a 3.88 ERA.

Last season, for Yakult, he went 8-6 with a 3.84 ERA in 23 games started, which really isn’t that bad.

Ishikawa allowed nine hits to the BayStars in 3.1 innings in his last time out. He surrendered five earned runs and four walks while striking out two on 81 pitches. In that game, he threw 36 balls of his 81 pitches.

Through three games, he’s allowed an opponent batting average of .365. However, Ishikawa pitched against the Giants earlier this season and pitched very well in that start.

He went six innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out six and walking one. Ishikawa got the no-decision as the Giants scored five runs in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings to get the win.

The Giants went 2-1 in that series against Yakult.

Prediction

The Giants offense was nowhere to be found on Thursday but they’ll come back Friday and look to get back on track. This team struggled against Ishikawa in his first start against them.

Now the Giants know what to expect out of Ishikawa. They’ll have plenty more to study on the 40-year-old. Look for the Giants to capitalize on facing Ishikawa for the second time.

NPB Pick:

Yomiuri Giants-180
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Chunichi Dragons vs. Hiroshima Carp

Friday, July 10, 2020 – 5:00am EST

Probable Pitchers Per NPB site:

  • Chunichi: Yudai Ono (0-2 5.82 ERA) 
  • Hiroshima: Daichi Ohsera (2-1 2.86 ERA)

The Chunichi Dragons lost their last game to the Yakult Swallows and are currently in second to last place in the Central division while the Hiroshima Carp are just .5 games above the Dragons in the division.

This series can help either team get ahead in the standings. The Hiroshima Carp are coming off a 5-1 loss to the BayStars and are now 3-6-1 in their last 10 games. 

The Carp haven’t been good recently, thanks to a bunch of rainouts over the weekend but they’ll send out Daichi Ohsera on the mound, who has been one of the bright spots for the Carp.

Ohsera is 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA on the season. He’s thrown 22 innings and allowed 20 hits along with seven runs but has struck out 11 and walked just two batters.

Ohsera pitched two complete games in his first two starts, allowing just one run in each game. However, in his last start, he was beat up by the Hanshin Tigers. He went four innings, allowing eight hits, five runs, while striking out three and walking none.

Through three games, batters are hitting Ohsera with a .250 batting average. It was a poor performance from Ohsera against Hanshin but the good news was that he didn’t walk any batters. He just didn’t have good stuff.

Ohsera is 54-36 in his career in the NPB and has a career ERA of 3.37. He averages 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings and walks 2.2 batters per nine innings along with a WHIP of 1.21. So far this season, he holds a WHIP of 1, which is excellent. Last season, he went 11-9 with a 3.53 ERA and the year before that, Ohsera finished with a 2.62 ERA and 15 wins.

During those two seasons, he limited walks to two or fewer per nine innings. That’s always good to know when you’re backing a pitcher.

Ohsera will go up against Yudai Ono, who is currently 0-2 with a 5.82 ERA on the season. Through three games, he pitched 17 innings, allowed 24 hits and 12 runs (11 earned) while striking out 15 and walking four. In three starts and 17 innings pitched, Ono has allowed six home runs on the season, which is two per game and 3.2 per nine innings.

Ono has a WHIP of 1.65 and is allowing 12.7 hits per nine innings. He’s also 58-63 in his NPB career and sports an ERA of 3.35.

Ono also isn’t a big walker himself as he averages just 2.6 walks per nine innings. Last season, he finished with a 9-8 record and a 2.58 ERA so he’s not a terrible pitcher. However, in 2018, he finished six games and went 0-3 with an 8.56 ERA. So there’s some real inconsistency with Ono.

Ono really wasn’t bad in his last start. He went seven innings, allowing four hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out 10 and walking three against the Yomiuri Giants. But again, the Giants have struggled to score against starters and are blasting relief pitching.

Ono pitched 124 pitches and is still getting hit with a batting average of .329 this season. Ono was excellent in his last start but struggled in this same match-up against the Carp.

Ohsera and Ono pitched against each other on June 26. The Carp had 11 hits against Ono, scoring four runs and hit three homers. He only struck out four and walked one.

Ohsera, on the other hand, went nine innings, allowing eight hits, one run, striking out four and walking one on 132 pitches.

Prediction

Ohsera and Ono faced off against each other. Ohsera got the win while Ono got the loss. 

The Carp hit Ono very well in that first start with three homers and a double. All of the Dragons’ hits were singles off Ohsera.

NPB Pick:

Hiroshima Carp-150
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Softbank Hawks vs. Rakuten Eagles

Friday, July 10, 2020 – 5:00am EST

Probable Pitchers Per NPB site:

  • Softbank: Nao Higashihama (1-0 2.25 ERA)
  • Rakuten: Takahiro Norimoto (3-0 .87 ERA)

The Rakuten Eagles destroyed the Softbank Hawks in the third game of the series and now lead the Hawks two games to one in the six-game series. 

The Eagles are already pulling away in the Pacific Division and lead the standings by 2.5 games.

The Eagles will send out Takahiro Norimoto, who is 3-0 with a .87 ERA in his first three starts on the season.

Takahiro Norimoto of the Rakuten Eagles pitches for Japan during an exhibition game – Photo by YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP

He went 6.2 innings, allowing four hits and one run (none earned) while striking out two and walking two against the Lotte Marines. Opponents are currently hitting Norimoto with a .134 batting average through three games this season.

Norimoto is 83-63 in his NPB career. The 29-year-old has a career ERA of 3.01 and strikes out 9.3 batters per nine innings while walking 2.2 batters per nine innings. His career WHIP is 1.14 but his WHIP on the season is a whopping .68.

Nao Higashihama will take the mound for the Hawks. He’s 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA on the season. Opponents are struggling against Higashihama with a .203 batting average. He dominated the Nippon Ham Fighters in his last start but just went five innings. In those five innings, he threw 109 pitches and 46 of them were balls.

You guessed it – he walked six batters in that game while also allowing four hits and one run. He was able to work around the walks and hits but he still allowed 10 runners on base in five innings.

In the start before that one, he allowed six hits to the Seibu Lions including three runs on two homers, along with two walks and three strikeouts.

Higashihama has been very good throughout his career. He’s 41-23 with a 3.29 ERA in his career. However, last season, in seven games pitched, he had an ERA of 6.37 and walked close to six batters per nine innings.

It’s apparent that he will have command issues at times but throughout his career, he’s only walked 3.2 batters per nine innings.

Prediction

There’s no question that this is a fun pitching match-up. But there’s no stopping the Rakuten offense that just scored nine runs in a game where they were underdogs.

If Rakuten has one solid inning, Norimoto should shut it down the rest of the way. I’ll back Rakuten.

NPB Pick:

Rakuten Eagles-145
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