Nippon Professional Baseball Picks: July 11th Betting Odds

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Nippon Professional Baseball Picks: July 11th Betting Odds

It’s been walk-off galore in the NPB with some very unpredictable outcomes as of late. Many underdogs are finding ways to win this week while there have also been a couple of ties. Here are the best bets for Saturday’s NPB action.

Nippon Ham Fighters vs. Orix Buffaloes

Saturday, July 11, 2020 – 1:00am EST

Probable Pitchers Per NPB site:

  • Orix: Daiki Tajima (1-0 2.41 ERA)
  • Nippon Ham: Chihiro Kaneko (0-0 10.57 ERA)

The Orix Buffaloes are coming off a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Nippon Ham Fighters after four runs in the 8th and 9th innings to seal the deal for the walk-off victory.

The Buffaloes will now send Daiki Tajima who has been very solid in his first three starts of the season. He’s currently 1-0 with a 2.41 ERA and has allowed just five runs on 11 hits in 18.2 innings. Tajima has struck out 13 and walked four but hasn’t allowed a homer in three starts.

Tajima is coming off a win over the Seibu Lions where he went seven innings, allowing three runs while striking out three and walking one on 100 pitches. In that game, he threw 72 strikes and 28 balls and really found the zone well.

Currently, after three games, he’s allowed opponents to hit just .167 against him, which is very solid.

Tajima is 10-7 in the NPB in his career and has a 3.61 ERA over the course of three seasons. He averages eight strikeouts per nine innings and walks 3.2 batters per nine innings throughout his short career. The 23-year-old also has a career WHIP of 1.22 but on the season it’s sitting at .80. He’s limited his walks and kept his hits down in three games this season.

On the other hand, the Nippon Ham Fighters will send relief pitcher Chihiro Kaneko to the mound. He’s appeared in seven games this season in relief and will make his first start of the season in this one. Kaneko spent 13 seasons with Orix before moving on to the Fighters.

He currently has an ERA of 10.57 in 7.2 innings pitched this season. Kaneko has walked six and struck out 11 in those appearances. Last season, he finished with a 3.04 ERA through 26 games with the Fighters.

It’ll be interesting to see how he performs against his former team. Kaneko last pitched on July 7 and allowed three runs (two earned) in two innings against the Orix Buffaloes. He threw 14 balls in 35 pitches and opponents are hitting him with an average of .344.

Kaneko had success with striking out the Buffaloes but also allowed two hits and a walk along with a home run in those two innings.

Prediction

Kaneko has had a long storied career in the NPB. He’s 128-85 with 21 shutouts and 43 complete games. His ERA is going to decrease as it has never been this high before. He has a WHIP of 2.22 on the season but that has all been in relief.

Looking at his career numbers, it’s clear to see that he limits walks and hits compared to how he’s performed this season. Tajima has also been excellent to start the season.

I like the under in this match-up between two poor offensive teams.

NPB Pick:

Under 7.5(-120)
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Lotte Marines vs. Seibu Lions

Saturday, July 11, 2020 – 1:00am EST

Probable Pitchers Per NPB site:

  • Lotte: Atsuki Taneichi (0-1 2.37 ERA) 
  • Seibu: Wataru Matsumoto (0-1 5.51 ERA)

The Seibu Lions won their shootout against the Lotte Marines, 7-6 on Friday. The Lions have now won two of the first three games with one game being rained out in the six-game series.

Atsuki Taneichi will take the mound for the Marines. He’s done a solid job this season with a 2.37 ERA but hasn’t gotten a win in three starts. He’s thrown 19 innings and allowed 17 hits along with four walks and three homers but has also struck out 15.

Last season, Taneichi went 8-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 26 games. He’s a high strikeout guy, averaging 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings but is also walking 3.5 batters per nine innings.

The good news is that Taneichi has limited walks to start the season to just under two walks per nine innings.

He’s actually coming off a loss to the Rakuten Eagles where he went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, while striking out two and walking one. He allowed a homer in that game. This game was full of rain and finished after seven innings.

Batters are hitting Taneichi with a .236 batting average and he did a great job throwing strikes in his last start. He’ll go up against a pitcher on the Seibu Lions that doesn’t know what strikes are.

Wataru Matsumoto will take the mound for the Seibu Lions. He’s 0-1 with a 5.51 ERA in three starts this season. He sports a 1.41 WHIP and has walked nine batters while striking out 10.

Matsumoto was actually solid in his last start, however. He went seven innings allowing five hits and one run while striking out five and walking none.

Even after walking none in seven innings, he’s still averaging five walks per nine innings and averaged 4.9 walks per nine innings last season in 16 games.

The Orix Buffaloes are one of the worst offenses in the league but the Marines aren’t. They can keep up in a shootout and can score runs in a hurry when needed.

You can expect some patience from the Marines lineup.

Prediction

The Marines have a clear pitching advantage. Each game has been close this season but the Lions have won two of three in the series. Look for the Marines to get another win and tie the series going into the final day.

NPB Pick:

Lotte Marines-141
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Softbank Hawks vs. Rakuten Eagles

Saturday, July 11, 2020 – 5:00am EST

Probable Pitchers Per NPB site:

  • Softbank: Akira Niho (0-2 8.74 ERA)
  • Rakuten: Takayuki Kishi (1-0 1.80 ERA)

The Rakuten Eagles lost on a 10th inning walk-off homer to the Softbank Hawks. The Eagles will now look to have a better offensive performance after scoring just one run in 10 innings on Friday.

The Eagles will send Takayuki Kishi to the mound for the start. Kishi started one game this season and allowed just one run in five innings on four hits while striking out five and walking three.

Takayuki Kishi pitching for Japan – Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

Kishi is 126-84 in his career with a 3.02 career ERA in 14 seasons. He had a 3-5 record with a 3.56 ERA in 2019 over 15 games and had a WHIP of just 1.12. Kishi averages 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings and walks 2.2 per nine innings. The walks were a small issue in his first start of the season but his career numbers show that he’ll tighten up.

Kishi shut down the Lotte Marines as they hit just .211 in his first start of the season. Kishi pitched against Taneichi of the Marines in that seven-inning rain-concluded battle where he got the win.

He’ll be up against Akira Niho who is 0-2 in three games with an 8.74 ERA. He’s thrown just 11.1 innings in three starts, allowing 19 hits, 11 runs, and two homers. He also walked seven and struck out five this season.

Niho lasted just 4.1 innings in his last start against the Nippon Ham Fighters and allowed five runs on eight hits, including four walks and two strikeouts.

Through three games, batters are hitting Niho with a .396 batting average and he’s also walked more than struck out on the season. He’s 8-7 in his career in the NPB but has a 4.39 ERA. He literally walks 4.6 batters per nine innings and strikes out just 4.3 batters per nine innings and has a career WHIP of 1.58 in the league.

This season, his WHIP has reached 2.30 which is absurd. Sure, that might decrease but he’s going up against a Rakuten offense that has been really good throughout the season. The Eagles were shut down on Friday but should return to form on Saturday.

Prediction

I really like the Rakuten Eagles in this spot. Of course, the Eagles lost on Friday with their offense going completely silent. This should be a nice bounce-back spot for the Eagles.

The pitching match-up certainly favors them.

NPB Pick:

Rakuten Eagles-164
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