This article is part of our Dream11 Fantasy NPB series.
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (22-21-2) at Chiba Lotte Marines (24-20-1)
Wednesday, July 12nd, 5:00 AM EDT
Marines: LHP Kazuya Ojima (3-3, 4.23 ERA)
Fighters: LHP Takayuki Katoh (0-1, 4.96 ERA)
The Marines and the Fighters are in a tough spot regarding the postseason qualification – Chiba sit in third place with a 24-20-1 record, but Hokkaido are sitting right behind them with two fewer wins. The meetings between both franchises this week could prove to be decisive in the race for a playoff spot this season, and the fact that both teams are riding strong results of late – both are 4-1 over their last five contests – will make things even more interesting. The pitching matchup for this contest will feature two lefties, as Kazuya Ojima will get the ball for the Marines and Takayuki Katoh will do so for the Fighters. Both pitchers have had similar results thus far, although Ojima has 26 strikeouts in 38.1 innings, while Katoh has fanned 15 in only 16.1 frames. Katoh might represent a stronger Dream11 alternative due to his high strikeout totals.
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