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NPB: Nippon Professional Baseball Predictions

NPB: Nippon Professional Baseball Predictions

Inform your Nippon Professional Baseball predictions ahead of this week's biggest matches with Pinnacle's weekly update, including analysis, team news, and the latest baseball odds.

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Yokohama DeNA BayStars at Hanshin Tigers predictions

The Yokohama DeNA BayStars are locked in a battle for the final play-off spot in the Central League and next face the league-leading Hanshin Tigers in a two-game series starting on Tuesday.

The BayStars hold a record of 57-55-3 at the time of writing, 12.5 games back of the Tigers, who sport a record of 69-42-4.

Hanshin have been in red-hot form since the All-Star break, going 21-6-1, while the BayStars are under .500 over the same time period.

Toshiro Miyazaki has still been a standout for the BayStars, despite their poor run of recent form, with his .972 on-base plus slugging (OPS) ranking second in the Central League.

The pitching matchup on Tuesday, with Shota Imanaga lining up against Yuki Nishi, may also suit Yokohama.

Imanaga has an earned run average (ERA) of 2.89 and a 7-3 record this season, while Nishi is 5-5 with a 4.71 ERA.

Although the Tigers are in fine form, Tuesday’s game may present an opportunity for the BayStars to get a crucial win to keep hold of the final play-off place in the Central. They are worth siding with to get the victory.

Hiroshima Toyo Carp at Yomiuri Giants predictions

The Hiroshima Toyo Carp are likely to be the only realistic challengers for the Central League title as they try to chase down the Hanshin Tigers.

The Carp are 63-50-4 and visit the 57-56-1 Yomiuri Giants on Tuesday for the first matchup of a three-game series.

Hiroshima will send Aren Kuri to the mound in the series opener and will be hoping for another strong performance from him. His 2.48 ERA ranks as one of the best among starters in the Central League, while he also boasts 92 strikeouts, a top-10 ranking in the division.

Yomiuri will start Iori Yamasaki and although his 3.14 ERA is not quite as good as his opponent, it is still more than respectable.

This looks set to be a close matchup between two strong starters but the road struggles of Hiroshima, who are 25-32-2 on their travels, suggest the Giants look the more likely winners.

Orix Buffaloes at Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks predictions

The Orix Buffaloes have been one of the hottest teams in the NPB since the All-Star break, having gone 17-7-2. They face the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks on Tuesday in the first of a three-game series.

The Hawks are third in the Pacific League with a record of 54-55-2, while the in-form Buffaloes are of course running away with the division, having boosted their record to 68-40-4, to hold a 10.5 game advantage over their nearest challenger.

Kensuke Kondoh has been the star for the Hawks this season, with his .535 slugging percentage the best in the Pacific League while he also tops the charts with 30 doubles.

He looks to have a tough task in leading his team to glory in this series, however. Fukuoka has lost four games in a row and six of its last seven, and that run looks set to get worse against the in-form Buffaloes. Take Orix to win Tuesday’s clash.

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