Dream11 Fantasy NPB: Fighters at Hawks

Dream11 Fantasy NPB: Fighters at Hawks

This article is part of our Dream11 Fantasy NPB series.

Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (29-29-3) at Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (36-23-2)

Sunday, August 30th, 0:00 AM EDT

Projected Starters

Neither team has announced its starting pitcher for Sunday's contest.

Game Preview

Neither side has announced its starting pitcher for this contest, although the Hawks should be treated as favorites solely based on what they've done this season when it comes to their record. Aside from winning the first two games of the current series against the Fighters, they sit in first place of the Pacific League with a comfortable 36-23-2 record, while the Fighters are in fourth place while having lost their past three games.

Injuries

Alfredo Despaigne - Day-To-Day - Not Injury Related

7/7 10:42 PM IST - Despaigne (not injury related) is scheduled to arrive in Japan on July 19 and will then quarantine for 14 days before reporting to the Hawks, Yahoo Sports Japan reports. Due to travel restrictions in their native Cuba, Despaigne and infielder Yurisbel Gracial have thus far been unable to join the Hawks, and it appears their season debuts won't be coming at any point in July. Even once they arrive in Japan and complete their quarantine periods, Despaigne and Gracial will likely both require rehab games in the minors to get their timing right at the plate before SoftBank elects to add either player to the active roster. In his sixth NPB season and third with the Hawks in 2019, Despaigne slashed .259/.355/.520 with 36 home runs, 88 RBI and 61 runs in 519

Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (29-29-3) at Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (36-23-2)

Sunday, August 30th, 0:00 AM EDT

Projected Starters

Neither team has announced its starting pitcher for Sunday's contest.

Game Preview

Neither side has announced its starting pitcher for this contest, although the Hawks should be treated as favorites solely based on what they've done this season when it comes to their record. Aside from winning the first two games of the current series against the Fighters, they sit in first place of the Pacific League with a comfortable 36-23-2 record, while the Fighters are in fourth place while having lost their past three games.

Injuries

Alfredo Despaigne - Day-To-Day - Not Injury Related

7/7 10:42 PM IST - Despaigne (not injury related) is scheduled to arrive in Japan on July 19 and will then quarantine for 14 days before reporting to the Hawks, Yahoo Sports Japan reports. Due to travel restrictions in their native Cuba, Despaigne and infielder Yurisbel Gracial have thus far been unable to join the Hawks, and it appears their season debuts won't be coming at any point in July. Even once they arrive in Japan and complete their quarantine periods, Despaigne and Gracial will likely both require rehab games in the minors to get their timing right at the plate before SoftBank elects to add either player to the active roster. In his sixth NPB season and third with the Hawks in 2019, Despaigne slashed .259/.355/.520 with 36 home runs, 88 RBI and 61 runs in 519 plate appearances.

Yurisbel Gracial - Out - Not Injury Related

7/7 10:40 PM IST - Gracial (not injury related) is scheduled to arrive in Japan on July 19 and will then quarantine for 14 days before reporting to the Hawks, Yahoo Sports Japan reports. Due to travel restrictions in their native Cuba, Gracial and outfielder Alfredo Despaigne have thus far been unable to join the Hawks, and it appears their season debuts won't be coming at any point in July. Even once they arrive in Japan and complete their quarantine periods, Gracial and Despaigne will likely both require rehab games in the minors to get their timing right at the plate before SoftBank elects to add either player to the active roster. In his second season with the Hawks in 2019, Gracial slashed .319/.365/.595 with 28 home runs, 68 RBI and 61 runs scored over 410 plate appearances.

Yuya Hasegawa - Out - Side

7/7 2:47 PM IST - Hasegawa was removed from the Hawks' active roster Tuesday due to a right side bruise that is expected to keep him sidelined for approximately three weeks. The left fielder had a .400 OBP with one RBI and nine strikeouts over his first 11 games, so his loss is a significant one for the Hawks. The 35-year-old will likely be sidelined until at least late July with the injury.

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 pitching hand, Martinez was rolling for the Fighters, as he'd tossed five scoreless innings. The injury forced him from the game, however. Given that he avoided structural damage to his finger, Martinez appears likely to take the mound when his turn in the rotation comes up again next week.

Matt Moore - Out - Calf

7/9 4:41 AM IST - Moore is expected to miss about six weeks after he was diagnosed with a left calf muscle damage following an MRI on Wednesday, Yahoo Sports Japan reports. Moore will miss significant time for the second consecutive season due to a lower-body injury, as he was limited to just two starts with MLB's Detroit Tigers in 2019 due to right knee surgery. After making the jump to Japan over the winter, Moore looked good in his first two turns through the Hawks rotation, collecting 14 strikeout over 10 innings. He'll now be on the shelf until the second half of August after picking up the calf injury in a workout Tuesday.

Yuki Nomura - Out - Finger

7/9 4:21 AM IST - Nomura had successful surgery Wednesday to address the broken right pinkie finger he suffered in Tuesday's loss to the Buffaloes, Full-Count.jp reports. Nomura is expected to face a three-month recovery from the procedure, effectively taking him off the radar for the remainder of his rookie season. The 20-year-old had been a lineup regular at third base for the Fighters, going 10-for-46 (.217 average) with two home runs and eight RBI through his first 13 NPB games.

Dennis Sarfate - Out - Not Injury Related

7/7 2:10 AM IST - Sarfate joined the Hawks on Saturday after completing a 14-day quarantine following his recent return from the United States, Yahoo Sports Japan reports. Though Sarfate is back with the Hawks, he'll have to get his arm reconditioned again after the layoff before he's deemed ready to contribute out of the bullpen. The Hawks are expected to assign Sarfate to the minors, where he'll make an appearance or two before being registered to the big-league roster.

Eito Tanaka - Out - Elbow

7/10 6:41 AM IST - The Fighters announced Thursday that Tanaka underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow, Full-Count.jp reports. He's expected to be sidelined for two months before starting a throwing program. The 20-year-old made his NPB debut for Nippon-Ham in September of last season, giving up two runs in a two-inning appearance. Since he'll still need to complete more rehab work once he starts up his throwing program, Tanaka's absence could extend to the three-month mark or longer. The Fighters likely aren't counting on him to hold a major role once he's healthy again.

Hiroshi Urano - Out - Chest

6/30 8:47 PM IST - Urano required an appendectomy Tuesday and is expected to be sidelined for four weeks following surgery, Yahoo Japan reports. Urano will be hospitalized through Saturday before taking the next three weeks off to rest up and recover from the emergency procedure. The 30-year-old had yet to appear in a game for the Fighters this season after going 3-1 with seven holds and a 4.98 ERA over 25 appearances in 2019.

Rick van den Hurk - Out - Back

7/17 4:47 AM IST - Van den Hurk (1-2) allowed four runs on four hits and three walks while striking out zero over 2.2 innings as he was charged with the loss Thursday against the Buffaloes. After a dominant season debut, things have gone downhill for van den Hurk over his last three starts, and he's now been charged with losses in back-to-back starts. He failed to record any strikeouts Thursday while allowing seven baserunners. The right-hander carries a 7.29 ERA and 1.43 WHIP over 21 innings this year.

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks Expected Lineup

1. Seiji Uebayashi

2. Ryoya Kurihara

3. Yuki Yanagita

4. Wladimir Balentien

5. Yuya Hasegawa

6. Nobuhiro Matsuda

7. Kenta Imamiya

8. Takuya Kai

9. Taisei Makihara

Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters Expected Lineup

1. Haruki Nishikawa

2. Taishi Ohta

3. Kensuke Kondoh

4. Sho Nakata

5. Ryo Watanabe

6. Christian Villanueva

7. Kotaro Kiyomiya

8. Shingo Usami

9. Takuya Nakashima

Top Picks From Each Team

Yuki Yanagita, Hawks: Yanagita has been one of the most complete hitters in the NPB this season and the numbers don't lie. He is hitting .349 with a .472 on-base percentage and a .708 slugging percentage, something that translates to a stellar 1.180 OPS. He also has 19 home runs with 48 RBI, so he's making an impact in every way possible when he steps to the plate.

Sho Nakata, Fighters: Nakata is one of the biggest power threats in the NPB and his power is the real deal – he has 21 homers in 61 games, so he is going yard once every three games on average. He's only hitting .259 this season, but he doesn't have to hit for average to make an impact.

Captaincy Options

  1. Yuki Yanagita
  2. Seiji Uebayashi
  3. Sho Nakata
  4. Kensuke Kondoh

Dream11 Team

P – Masato Okumura

C – Takuya Kai

IF – Sho Nakata

IF – Kenta Imamiya

IF – Yuto Takahama

OF – Yuki Yanagita (C)

OF – Seiji Uebayashi (VC)

OF – Kensuke Kondoh

OF – Akira Nakamura

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Pablo Aravena
30-year-old sports analyst and journalist. Fan of every single sport on this earth. Enjoys a good beer, some good food, and good company. NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL and soccer fan.
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