This article is part of our Dream11 Fantasy NPB series.
ORIX Buffaloes (13-19-2) at Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (15-18-2)
Thursday, July 30th, 5:00 AM EDT
Fighters: RHP Nick Martinez (1-3, 3.79 ERA)
Buffaloes: LHP Sachiya Yamasaki (1-0, 3.80 ERA)
Both the Fighters and the Buffaloes are struggling to get things going and both sit in the final two spots of the Pacific League standings. The Fighters, however, have been slightly better – they have two more wins and are on a two-game winning run. Meanwhile, the Buffaloes currently own one of the worst records in the NPB – a league-low 13 wins – while riding a three-game losing skid. The pitching matchup will feature two pitchers with almost identical ERAs – while Nick Martinez owns a 3.79 ERA for the Fighters, the Buffaloes will counter with Sachiya Yamasaki, who has posted a 3.80 ERA to date. Given how similar these two pitchers have looked, it's probably the offenses will decide the outcome of this game. In that department, the Fighters have a slim advantage.
Andrew Albers - Out - Undisclosed
7/30 2:57 AM IST - The Buffaloes deactivated Albers on Wednesday, Jim Allen of JBallAllen.com reports. Though an explanation for Albers' removal from the roster isn't known, it's likely the result of an injury rather than any dissatisfaction the club may have had with his performance. The 34-year-old southpaw had fared respectably through his first six starts, going 2-3 with a 3.78 ERA and a 29:9 K:BB over 33.1 innings.
Motoki Higa - Out -