This article is part of our Dream11 Fantasy NPB series.
Chiba Lotte Marines (31-24-2) at Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (29-25-3)
Wednesday, August 26th, 5:00 AM EDT
The Marines and the Golden Eagles are second and third in the Pacific League standings ahead of this game, and both teams would sneak into the playoffs if the season ended today. However, both players are in bad runs of results – the Golden Eagles are coming off three straight losses and just one win in their last five games, while the Marines have dropped two of their last three. Winning here becomes extra important considering these two teams are direct rivals in the race for a playoff spot. The pitching matchup gives an edge for Tohoku, though, as Hideaki Wakui has been one of the best pitchers in the NBP this season. Meanwhile, Kazuya Ojima will get the nod for the Marines.
Brandon Laird - Out - Back
8/5 11:54 PM IST - The Marines deactivated Laird on Wednesday while he contends with a stiff back, Jim Allen of JBallAllen.com reports. Laird's back issue first cropped up Tuesday, resulting in him being pulled in the sixth inning of the Marines' game against the Buffaloes. Rookie Hisanori Yasuda is expected to take over as the Marines' everyday third baseman in place of Laird, who is batting .233 with six home runs and 15 RBI across 147 plate appearances.
Yuji Nishino - Out - Elbow
6/30 10:26 AM IST - Nishino (elbow) underwent Tommy John surgery Monday. Nishino suffered a torn medical