Nippon Professional Baseball Picks: July 16th Betting Odds

Nippon Professional Baseball Picks: July 16th Betting Odds
Softbank Hawks vs Chiba Lotte Marines at PayPay Dome in Fukuoka City. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun ) AFP

There were two upsets in the NPB on Wednesday’s slate. How many upsets will be on Thursday’s NPB slate? Here are my tops bets in the NPB.

Softbank Hawks vs. Orix Buffaloes

Thursday, July 16, 2020 – 5:00 am EST

Probable Pitchers Per NPB site:

  • Orix: Sachiya Yamasaki (0-0 4.50 ERA)
  • Softbank: Rick van den Hurk (1-1 6.38 ERA)

The Softbank Hawks have now won their first two games of the series over the Orix Buffaloes by a combined score of 17-3. The Hawks offense has been brilliant while their pitching has been able to get the job done.

The Hawks will send out Rick van den Hurk who is 1-1 with a 6.38 ERA. He’ll look to finish the job and sweep the Orix Buffaloes on the road. Van den Hurk has a career ERA of 42-18 with a 3.61 ERA in his career. He’s averaged 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings and walked 2.6 batters per nine innings. Van den Hurk is now in his 6th season in the league.

While he has a career WHIP of 1.11, this season, he has a WHIP of 1.26. He’s allowing a homer per nine innings and 8.3 hits per nine innings, which is one more hit compared to his career numbers. Van den Hurk had a brutal outing in his last time out. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and walked three while striking out five. However, opponents are still hitting Van den Hurk with a batting average of .250, which isn’t entirely bad.

He’ll go up against Sachiya Yamasaki of the Orix Buffaloes who hasn’t won a game in two games and has an ERA of 4.5 on the season after a six-inning start in his season debut last week. Yamasaki is 10-17 with a 4.29 ERA throughout his career and strikes out 5.3 batters per nine innings while walking 4.4 batters per nine innings. His career WHIP is 1.44.

Yamasaki shut down the Nippon Ham Fighters in five innings. He allowed two hits but six walks. Three runs scored (two earned) and he only had two strikeouts. He used 103 pitches in five innings and 44 of them were balls. However, the Nippon Ham Fighters are one of the worst offenses in the NPB and easily the worst in the Pacific division. Against Softbank, Yamasaki might struggle.


The Softbank Hawks have dominated the Buffaloes in the first two games and there’s no reason why that shouldn’t continue into this one. Rick van den Hurk has been a force in the NPB since he joined the league. Yamasaki struggles to find the zone and doesn’t throw many strikes. We might see a couple of bases-loaded walks in this one. Softbank should be on base plenty with many opportunities. I’ll take the Hawks at -1.5 via BetOnline.

Softbank Hawks -1.5-110
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Rick Van Den Hurk. Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images/AFP

Yomiuri Giants vs. Hiroshima Carp

Thursday, July 16, 2020 – 5:00 am EST

Probable Pitchers Per NPB site:

  • Yomiuri: Christopher Crisostomo (0-2 4.11 ERA) 
  • Hiroshima: Kazuki Yabuta (0-0 0.00 ERA)

The Yomiuri Giants destroyed the Hiroshima Carp for their second win in the three-game series. The Giants scored 12 runs on 11 hits and ran away with the game.

The Giants will now look for the three-game sweep on the road with Christopher Crisostomo on the mound. Crisostomo is currently 0-2 with a 1.30 ERA on the season through three games. He’s been tagged with four long balls in three games but has only allowed seven runs in those three starts. If he’s able to limit the long ball, Crisostomo should get back on track as he’s still looking for his first win of the season.

Crisostomo received a loss during his last outing where he went 6.2 innings, allowing five hits, two runs, and one walk while striking out eight against the Hanshin Tigers. The Giants offense was very quiet in that game but the Giants offense looks incredible against Hiroshima this week. His opponents are hitting .274 against Crisostomo but that number really dipped since his last start.

For his career, he’s got an ERA of 2.96 with a record of 13-14. He’s been a bit unlucky in the NPB when it comes to wins but he’s been performing. He strikes out 6.1 batters per nine innings and walks under two per nine. In his NPB career and career in general, he’s never been a high home run guy. That number should start to regress later in this season.

He’ll go up against Kazuki Yabuta, who will be making his first start of the season in this one. Yabuta has been coming out of the bullpen to start the season. Through five games, he’s thrown in 5.1 innings and allowed four hits, three strikeouts and one walk.

He’s looked good in relief but he won’t be able to go very deep in this game. Throughout his career, Yabuta is 21-19 with a 3.61 ERA but last season, he went 0-2 in four games with a 9.24 ERA, allowing ten walks 12.2 innings along with 17 hits. He averages 5.3 walks per nine innings and 7.1 strikeouts per nine innings. Both of these stats will likely be less in a starting role but with a career WHIP of 1.45, it’s hard to trust Yabuta.

Yabuta has started 21 games out of his 78 career games pitched in the NPB. However, it looks like Yabuta has been in the bullpen since 2018 and started in the minors. In the minor leagues last season, Yabuta went 6-8 with a 3.98 ERA, striking out just five batters per nine innings.


Yabuta has been performing above his career numbers throughout the season. In five games, he’s allowed no runs and has a WHIP of .94 in relief. His career numbers are much different. His walks have been high along with his WHIP. I like the Giants to get the sweep over the Carp. They’re clicking on all cylinders and have Cristostomo on the mound, who has a career ERA below three. He’s also looking for his first win of the season.

Yomiuri Giants-155
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Photo by Masanori Inagaki / Yomiuri / The Yomiuri Shimbun via AFP

Rakuten Eagles vs. Seibu Lions

Thursday, July 16, 2020 – 5:00 am 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 are now 10-3 at home on the season and don’t look to be letting up anytime soon. They will pitch Hayato Yuge for the final game of the series. 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 season. 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 seem to state otherwise. Takahashi’s walks will start to rise according to his career numbers. 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.

Both of these starters were slotted to pitch in the first game of the series but that game was rained out. The Monkeys won the second game of the series by a wide margin.


The Rakuten Eagles are 10-3 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 and win the series 2-0.

Rakuten Eagles-160
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