Oct 18, 2019
Oct 18, 2019

Japan Series Preview: Fukuoka Softbank Hawks vs Yomiuri Giants

Japan Series 2019: The teams

Fukuoka Softbank Hawks vs. Yomiuri Giants

Japan Series Preview: Fukuoka Softbank Hawks vs Yomiuri Giants

The NPB season is reaching its climax, meaning the prestigious Japan Series will soon be underway. Who will win the Japan Series? Why are Fukuoka now the favourites? How can you make Japan Series predictions? Read on to find out.

What is the Japan Series?

The Japan Series is the culmination of the NPB season, with the Climax Series winners from the Central and Pacific Divisions facing off against each other for the overall championship. This year’s edition sees the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks take on the Yomiuri Giants.

It is a best-of-seven-series with a 2-3-2 format. Draws are possible so there is the chance for an eighth game if the scores are tied after seven matches.

Japan Series 2019: The teams

The Yomiuri Giants are the most successful team in Japan Series history and can win their 22nd title with victory this year, which is impressive considering the series has been contested on just 66 occasions.

However, the Fukuoka Hawks are reigning back-to-back champions after victories in the 2017 and 2018 competitions. They have a formidable Japan Series record in recent times, winning four of the previous five Series.

The Softbank Hawks were the Japan Series favourites coming into the season, and remain so ahead of the start of the series.

Learn more about the Japanese baseball season by reading Pinnacle’s guide to NPB betting.

Japan Series Predictions: Fukuoka Softbank Hawks vs. Yomiuri Giants

Fukuoka Softbank Hawks

Yomiuri Giants

58.51%

41.49%

 The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks are slight favourites to win the Japan Series title. The odds project them to win around six times in ten but it should be a close and intriguing series.

Regular season record

The Hawks had a marginally superior regular season record compared to the Giants. However, Yomiuri qualified directly to the Central League Climax Series final as winner of the Central League whilst Softbank finished second in the Pacific League, good enough for a place in the first round of the Climax Series.

Team

Wins

Losses

Percentage

Fukuoka Softbank Hawks

76

62

.551

Yomiuri Giants

77

64

.546

Both teams had a mixed end to the regular season, finishing with losing records over their last ten games.

How did they perform in the Climax Series?

As Pacific League runners-up, Fukuoka faced the third placed Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in the first stage. They triumphed 2-1 in the best of three series, winning the final game by a one run margin.

The Softbank Hawks made more simple work of regular season winners Seibu in the final stage of the Pacific League Climax Series. A 4 game win-streak secured their place in the Japan Series. This was impressive since, as Seibu were regular season winners, Fukuoka had to play all of their matches away from home and started the series a game behind.

Such a strong performance perhaps explains their favourite status coming into the Japan Series.

Hanshin Tigers vs. Yomiuri Giants Box Score

As Central League champions, Yomiuri qualified directly to the final of the Climax Series where they defeated the Hashin Tigers 3-1. In contrast to the Hawks, they did have home advantage for every game in this matchup.

Fukuoka Softbank Hawks vs. Yomiuri Giants head-to-head

Date

Result

21/06/2019

Yomiuri 0-0 Fukuoka

22/06/2019

Yomiuri 7-2 Fukuoka

23/06/2019

Yomiuri 3-8 Fukuoka

The teams took one win each during their regular season matchups, however they have not played each other since June, so what can be learned from the previous matchups is perhaps limited. The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks have dominated in previous seasons but again no strong conclusions can be clearly reached.

Both teams had similar regular season records but Fukuoka were very impressive during the Climax Series.

The Giants could possibly considered the slightly better team offensively but Fukuoka have a good selection of pitchers who are capable of reigning them in. This should make for an interesting matchup.

Japan Series betting

Bettors can bet on the usual selection of NPB markets including Money Line, Run Line and Totals on each matchup. They can also bet on the overall Japan Series Winner odds throughout the series.

Read our informative guide to baseball betting ahead of the matches and make the most of Pinnacle’s NPB odds.

Odds subject to change

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