This article is part of our Dream11 Fantasy NPB series.
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (29-23-3) at Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (26-26-3)
Sunday, August 23rd, 1:00 AM EDT
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters: RHP Drew VerHagen (4-1, 3.72 ERA)
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles: RHP Yuya Fukui (0-2, 5.54 ERA)
The Fighters and the Eagles are both alive in the playoff race and, even though there are lots of games left in the regular season, winning against direct rivals in the postseason race could give either team a huge boost ahead of the second half of the campaign. Both teams are quite even, and, in that scenario, the pitching matchup could make the difference. The Fighters have a slim edge in that department, as Drew VerHagen (4-1, 3.72 ERA) has far better numbers compared to Yuya Fukui (0-2, 5.54 ERA) in a duel between two right-handed starters.
Katsuhiko Kumon - Out - Upper Leg
7/31 1:37 AM IST - Kumon was deactivated Thursday and is expected to miss four weeks due a strained adductor muscle in his left leg, Jim Allen of JBallAllen.com reports. Kumon picked up the injury in his appearance in Wednesday's game against the Buffaloes, during which he blew a one-run lead. The lefty reliever owns a 4.97 ERA and 11:4 K:BB across 12.2 innings this season.
Nick Martinez - Day-To-Day - Finger
8/21 11:02 PM IST - Martinez was diagnosed with a bruised right ring finger after being struck by a comebacker during his start in Thursday's loss to the Eagles. Before the liner struck his