This article is part of our DFS NPB series.
Much like Tuesday, Wednesday night's slate once again offers the potential for some offense, considering four of the six games once again have projected run totals of eight or higher. We have a pair of shaky former MLB pitchers in Gabriel Ynoa and Onelki Garcia contributing to those elevated tallies, while Kazuya Ojima and Yu Suzuki are two other vulnerable arms that have particularly had trouble locating this season.
After delving into three pitching suggestions that I do trust, I'll examine hitters at three fairly different price points across the price scale, along with some alternative considerations. We'll finish off with two stacks that target some of the aforementioned hurlers, with both groups surprisingly very affordable overall.
Shosei Togoh ($12,800) sports a price that's commensurate to his stellar performance thus far this season. The right-hander boasts a 3-0 record, 1.90 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and minuscule .159 BAA across the 19 innings covering his first three starts. What's more, Togoh was arguably at his best in his one road turn, which came his last time out against the Carp, which he held to two hits over six scoreless frames. Togoh has also done a very good job of keeping the ball down, eliciting 25 groundballs through his first three trips to the mound, which should play very well against a power-challenged Dragons squad that comes in with an NPB-low 15 home runs.
Hideaki Wakui ($11,100) is another undefeated pitcher on Wednesday's slate, as he checks in with a 4-0 record that's accompanied by a 3.75 ERA. Wakui has also been at his best at home, where he's notched three of those victories and recorded a 1.90 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and .149 BAA, along with an average of a strikeout per inning. Wakui has scored over 20 DK points in three of his first four starts, and the matchup Wednesday could certainly be conducive to more of the same – the visiting Buffaloes, despite a 10-run outburst Tuesday, arrive with an NPB-low .237 average.
Haruhiro Hamaguchi ($10,400) sports a very reasonable price for a pitcher who sports a 2.22 ERA and is averaging 14.2 DK points per game. Hamaguchi does sport an elevated 1.73 WHIP, but that's largely the byproduct of an atypical nine-walk performance against the Carp two starts ago. Otherwise, the southpaw has been solid, firing 8.1 scoreless innings back in his first start of the season, coming within two outs of a quality start versus the potent Giants in his second outing and recording nine strikeouts across 5.1 frames versus the Dragons his last time out. Hamaguchi's matchup against the Swallows on Wednesday isn't prohibitive, either, as even though they come in with a solid .261 team batting average, Yakult has also hit the second-fewest home runs (22).
Shota Dobayashi ($8,600) is absolutely terrorizing pitching across NPB, as following a 2-for-4 performance that included a solo home run Tuesday, he's now slashing an eye-popping .437/.473/.690 across his first 22 games. An impressive 12 (seven doubles, five home runs) of his 38 hits have gone for extra bases, and he's now hitting .375 over his first two games against the Tigers following Tuesday's effort. Dobayashi has four double-digit DK-point tallies in his last five games and opposing southpaw Onelki Garcia could facilitate more of the same. Garcia has struggled considerably with his control (15 walks over 21 innings), part of the reason he's pitched to a 4.98 ERA while also allowing three home runs.
Kazuma Okamoto ($7,600) checks into Wednesday's action having hit homers in two consecutive games, a brief power surge that's led to back-to-back tallies of 16 DK points and pushed Okamoto's season fantasy-point average to an impressive 11.6, just under the higher-priced Dobayashi's average of 12 DK points per contest. Okamoto has double-digit DK-point tallies in five of his last seven contests overall and opposing southpaw Takahiro Matsuba, despite a strong showing in his first start of the season is just the type of pitcher that could help lead Okamoto to another strong return. The veteran entered 2020 a 4.46 ERA or higher in each of his last four seasons, pitching to plenty of contact while displaying mediocre strikeout upside during that stretch.
Takayuki Kajitani ($6,300) walloped a pair of homers Tuesday on his way to 30 DK points, his third tally of more than 20 fantasy points in the last 10 games. Kajitani has now hit four of his five round trippers on the season at home, and he's tormented Swallows pitching for a .438/.550/.875 slash in four games. The matchup Wednesday sets up particularly well for the talented veteran as well, considering opposing pitcher Gabriel Ynoa has had a particularly difficult time of it over the first four starts of his NPB career, posting a 7.88 ERA, 2.13 WHIP and mammoth .384 BAA across 16 innings.
Ryosuke Kikuchi ($4,200) got off to an atypically poor start this season, but his natural talent has begun to shine through as the campaign has unfolded. The veteran checks into Wednesday's game with a .375/.444/.675 slash with six extra-base hits (four doubles, two home runs) across the last 10 games. Despite that impressive stretch, Kikuchi is still actually lagging behind his usual pace for extra-base hits just a tad, considering he slugged over 40 XBH in each of the last three seasons prior to 2020. Kikuchi also will benefit from the same favorable matchup against Onelki Garcia as his teammate Dobayashi, furthering Kikuchi's appeal at a bargain price.
Takumi Kuriyama ($4,100) is another bargain-priced bat that's very capable of outpacing his current salary. The outfielder checks into Wednesday with a .344/.475/.625 line over his last 10 games, which has pushed his DK-points average to a rock-solid 8.4. Kuriyama has reached safely in five straight as well, as he continues to boast the same highly discerning eye at the plate that he has traditionally wielded over the course of his long career. That could play particularly well versus Marines starter Kazuya Ojima, who's produced a bloated 3.5 BB/9 over the first season-plus of his NPB career.
Stacks to Consider
As just mentioned in Kuriyama's entry, Ojima is a young pitcher that's experienced trouble with his control throughout the early portion of his career. What's more, Ojima's failure to locate consistently has led to a fair share of his pitches leaving the park, as he's already surrendered four home runs across his first 19.2 frames this season.
Mori gets the stack started, and he checks into Wednesday's game with a solid .273 average and .351 on-base percentage over his last 10 games. The veteran catcher may simply be ascending back to his career norms, as he sports an impressive .296/.378/.480 line across his first six-plus seasons.
Yamakawa is a slugger that's very capable of taking advantage of Ojima's aforementioned trouble with the long ball, as the veteran slugger launched a combined 90 homers over the last two seasons coming into 2020 and has already belted another nine in just 26 games this season. He also comes in averaging 10.9 DK points per game while slashing .300/.523/.767 with four homers and 12 RBI in the last 10 games.
Nakamura is another right-handed bat that could cash in versus Ojima, and he arrives at Wednesday's contest with a .314/.400/.686 slash with three homers and six RBI in his last 10 games. Three of his four round trippers on the season have come on his home field, and it's encouraging to note the 36-year-old likely still has a lot more to go in terms of his power output before he really gets back to what he's made the norm over his long career. Nakamura came into 2020 having slugged over 30 home runs in three of the last six seasons, and no fewer than 21 round trippers in any campaign during that sample.
Kuriyama rounds out the proposed stack and was already discussed in his Bargain Bats entry.
ALSO CONSIDER: Stefen Romero ($6,000)
Suzuki is an inexperienced starter that has just seven career appearances to his name coming into Wednesday's action. He's logged his most action this season, posting a 1-2 record and 5.00 ERA over four starts, but he's exhibited considerable control issues with a 5.5 BB/9 across 18 innings. The Golden Eagles also have one of the highest projected team totals on the slate with 4.5 runs and check in with a Pacific League-high .276 team average.
Mogi kicks off the stack with a blistering .366/.422/.634 slash over his last 10 games, a span during which he's averaged 10.5 DK points. The bulk of his success overall this season has come at home, where he's smacked all three of his homers and compiled all 13 of his RBI. The lefty-hitting Mogi should benefit from the matchup against the right-handed Suzuki, and he could certainly coax a free pass or two out of the young pitcher as well.
Suzuki is always under consideration, and especially when his price is down below $7K. The veteran has been quiet over the last four games, going just 2-for-14 during that stretch and seeing an $800 price drop compared to just two games ago. Suzuki is still enjoying an excellent year with a .340 average and .398 OBP, and he's been at his best at home with a .380/.430/.451 slash over 18 games.
Asamura exploded for 31 DK points on the strength of a 4-for-4 effort two games ago, but he's gone just 1-for-15 in four other contests over the last five. The uneven performances may suppress his popularity to a certain extent, but Asamura is averaging a whopping 13.8 DK points and has hit nine of his 11 homers on the campaign across his 18 home contests.
Finally, Shimauchi makes for a cost-effective way to round out your onslaught, as a recent skid has brought his price down considerably. Shimauchi is slashing an anemic .139/.225/.250 over his last 10 contests, but he's recently shown signs of life by going 4-for-15 with a double, a home run and two RBI across his last four contests specifically. Shimauchi could simply be surging back to his career norms, as he'd hit no worse than .287 in three of the last four seasons coming into 2020, and he'd generated .373 and .327 OBPs in 2018 and 2019, respectively.