This article is part of our Dream11 Fantasy NPB series.
Saitama Seibu Lions (17-17) at Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (21-15-1)
Saturday, August 1st, 1:00 AM EDT
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks: RHP Shuta Ishikawa (3-0, 3.14 ERA)
Saitama Seibu Lions: RHP Keisuke Honda (0-2, 2.87 ERA)
The Hawks have been on a roll of late, and they enter this game on the heels of a 4-1 record during the last five games. As a result, they have climbed to the top of the Pacific League standings. The Lions have dealt with inconsistencies, and have gone 2-3 in their last five while winning just once in their last four. They are in third place of the standings, so winning here is a must for them. The pitching matchup will feature two capable arms, as Shuta Ishikawa will get the nod for the Hawks and Keisuke Honda will start for the Lions. Both pitchers feature ERAs under the 3.20 mark, although Ishikawa is undefeated while Honda is winless. Considering the offensive power in both lineups, this tendency could continue.
Alfredo Despaigne - Out - Not Injury Related
7/7 10:42 PM IST - Despaigne (not injury related) is scheduled to arrive in Japan on July 19 and will then quarantine for 14 days before reporting to the Hawks, Yahoo Sports Japan reports. Due to travel restrictions in their native Cuba, Despaigne and infielder Yurisbel Gracial have thus far been unable to join the Hawks, and it appears their season debuts won't be coming at any point in July. Even once they