There’s been plenty of chaos in the NPB but what there hasn’t been is plenty of road wins. Just three of 12 teams have a winning record on the road. Will the trend continue moving forward? Here are the NPB best bets for July 14.
Yokohama Bay Stars vs. Chunichi Dragons
Tuesday, July 13, 2020 – 5:00 am EST
Probable Pitchers Per NPB site:
- Yokohama: Shinichi Ohnuki (0-2 9.00 ERA)
- Chunichi: Takumi Yamamoto (0-1 6.00 ERA)
The Bay Stars will visit the Chunichi Dragons to start the week. The Dragons lost and were swept by the Bay Stars in their first series of the season against one another.
The Bay Stars will throw Shinichi Ohnuki who is 0-2 with a 9 ERA. In two games, he went five innings, allowing 10 hits, five runs, two homers, four walks, and just three strikeouts. All of that is good for a WHIP of 2.8 and a hits per nine rate of 18 hits. He went back down to the minor leagues and pitched 11 innings, allowing 13 hits, but just one earned run in two games.
Even in the minors, he averaged 10.6 hits per nine innings. Throughout his career, he’s averaging 11.4 hits per nine innings in the NPB and 3.6 walks per nine innings with a WHIP of 1.67. For Ohnuki’s career, he’s 6-7 with a 5.27 ERA in the NPB.
He’ll go up against the Dragons’ Takumi Yamamoto. Yamamoto is 1-1 on the season with a 6.43 ERA in three games started. In 14 innings, he’s allowed 10 earned runs, struck out nine and walked eight. He is 4-4 with a 3.67 ERA in his career but walks five batters per nine innings while only striking out 5.7 batters per nine innings. His career WHIP is 1.44 but he’s able to limit hits more often than not. It’s just that the walks take the hits’ place.
Yamamoto lasted just three innings against the Yakult Swallows, allowing four hits, five runs, five walks, and four strikeouts. He used 73 pitches in just three innings. Also, opponents are hitting Yamamoto with a batting average of .255 on the season.
Yamamoto was 3-3 with a 2.98 ERA last season for the Dragons. During that stretch, he still allowed 4.8 walks per nine innings and had a WHIP near 1.4. Currently, he’s averaging nine hits per nine innings and 5.1 walks per nine innings. Ohnuki was sent down to the minors to correct himself and still allowed double digits in hits per nine innings at the lower level.
Yomiuri Giants vs. Hiroshima Carp
Tuesday, July 14, 2020 – 5:00 am EST
Probable Pitchers Per NPB site:
- Yomiuri: Tomoyuki Sugano (2-0 2.91 ERA)
- Hiroshima: Aren Kuri (1-0 3.00 ERA)
The Yomiuri Giants and Hiroshima Carp will play their second series of the season. The Carp will welcome the Giants to their home where they’re 1-3 on the season. The Giants are just 2-2 on the road.
Tomoyuki Sugano will take the mound for the Giants. He is 2-0 with a 2.91 ERA on the season. Sugano has pitched in three games and has gone deep in all of them finishing a total of 21.2 innings in three starts. He’s averaging 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings and walking just 1.7 batters per nine innings. His WHIP is also .83 and he has 23 strikeouts and just four walks.
For his career, Sugano is 89-47 with a 2.37 ERA. In those 179 games, he has a WHIP of 1.05 and limits hits to 7.6 per nine innings which is very solid. He is coming off a ridiculous performance against the Chunichi Dragons where he went nine innings and allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out 11. Batters are now hitting Sugano with a batting average of .179. Sugano last pitched on July 3rd due to all of the rainouts but went over 120 pitches in that one-hitter so he’s fully recovered.
He’ll go up against Aren Kuri of the Hiroshima Carp. Currently, he’s 1-0 with an ERA of 3.00. He’s struck out 10.5 batters per nine innings and walked 3.8 batters per nine innings. His WHIP is 1.17. Throughout his career, Kuri has a record of 30-25 with an ERA of 3.94, a WHIP of 1.38 and allows nine hits per nine innings.
Kuri’s last outing wasn’t great. He went five innings against the Swallows and allowed seven hits, four runs, two homers, two walks, and struck out five. However, teams are hitting Kuri with an opponents batting average of .191 which is also very low after two starts. Last season, he finished with a 3.51 ERA and an 8-8 record.
Sugano has a much better track record throughout his career. The Carp are one of the few teams struggling at home this season too. Kuri has been solid this season but Sugano has much more consistency under his belt. Pick the Giants at BetOnline.
Rakuten Eagles vs. Seibu Lions
Tuesday, July 13, 2020 – 5:00am EST
Probable Pitchers Per NPB site:
- Rakuten: Hayato Yuge (2-1 2.89 ERA)
- Seibu: Kona Takahashi (2-1 5.71 ERA)
The Rakuten Eagles will be returning home where they’re 9-3 on the season.
The Eagles will rely on a solid arm in Hayato Yuge against the Seibu Lions. Yuge is 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA on the season. He’s thrown 18.2 innings and allowed six earned runs with 14 strikeouts and four walks on the day. Yuge has been tagged for three homers but is striking out 6.8 batters per nine innings and allowing just under two walks per nine innings with a WHIP of 1.13.
Yuge is coming off a road loss against the Softbank Hawks. He went six innings, allowing six hits, four runs (three earned) with three strikeouts and one walk. Batters are currently hitting Yuge with a 2.39 batting average. In that game, Yuge was a strike-throwing machine, throwing 61 of 89 pitches for a strike. The 26-year-old is now 5-4 with a 3.48 career ERA as he’s now in his second season in the league.
He’ll go up against Kona Takahashi of the Seibu Lions. Takahashi is also 2-1 but has a 5.71 ERA on the season. This season, he has a WHIP of 1.5 and has allowed 11 earned runs in 17 innings pitched. While his strikeouts are high, his career numbers show that his strikeout rate will dip while his walks will start to rise. For his six-season career, Takahashi has a WHIP of 1.5 which is on par with his WHIP this season. Last year, he went 10-6 with a 4.51 ERA and a WHIP of 1.54.
Takahashi is also coming off a loss against the Lotte Marines. He went six innings, allowing nine hits, and six earned runs while striking out nine and walking one. For his career, he averaged under seven strikeouts per nine innings, so the strikeout totals won’t be a trend for Takahashi moving forward. Opponents are hitting Takahashi with a .284 batting average on the season.
The Rakuten Eagles are 9-3 at home this season and have really looked a lot better this season at home compared to on the road, where they’re 4-5. With a real pitching edge at home, I expect the Eagles to get the job done over the Seibu Lions.