This article is part of our Dream11 Fantasy NPB series.
Orix Buffaloes (15-28-3) at Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (27-19-1)
Friday, August 14th, 1:00 AM EDT
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks: RHP Nao Higashihama (2-1, 3.02 ERA)
Orix Buffaloes: LHP Sachiya Yamasaki (2-1, 4.40 ERA)
The Hawks and the Buffaloes are walking through opposite runs of form at the moment, with the Hawks riding a four-game winning streak and the Buffaloes stumbling to the tune of a six-game losing run. This has been reflected in the standings as well, with the SoftBank Hawks sitting at the top of the Pacific League standings while the Buffaloes at the bottom of the same table. When it comes to the pitching matchup, this will be a duel of two pitchers with 2-1 records as Nao Higashihama will start for the Hawks and Sachiya Yamasaki, a lefty, will get the nod for the Buffaloes. Higashihama gets the nod for having a superior ERA than Yamasaki, but this is a game where offenses could – and should – dictate the tone of the game.
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 29:9 K:BB over 33.1 innings.
Alfredo Despaigne - Day-To-Day -