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Punters’ six best NPB teams to bet on in 2023

Punters’ six best NPB teams to bet on in 2023

Japan is the reigning champion of the 2023 World Baseball Classic. They also have a superb domestic baseball competition called Nippon Professional Baseball which has high-octane action filled with powerful batters, talented pitchers, and awesome teams to watch.

It is known worldwide that Japan is crazy about baseball. You can see their love for the sport since most residents play baseball. At the same time, their media has a lot of baseball-themed content like anime series, TV shows, and advertisements.

The NPB continues to gain more traction in the baseball world. Measure the quality of the best NPB teams by looking at their statistics and gauging the talent they have on the roster. Learn more about the teams from their respective divisions, the Central League and Pacific League.

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Central League

The following are the three best professional baseball team options in the Central League so far in the 2023 season and how they keep performing at the highest level:

Hanshin Tigers

Despite not winning the Japan Series since 1985, they have been a consistent contender ever since Akihiro Yano took over as the team’s manager in 2019 and even after he exited in 2022. They have not finished lower than 3rd since 2019, and in 2023, the team looks like the best Japanese baseball team and the favourite to win the Japan Series.

Consistency at the top

Yano was a big reason why the Tigers were strong in the past few seasons, but he decided to move on from the team, which opened an opportunity for other managers to take over. Former Hanshin Tigers manager Akinobu Okada took on the job for the second time for the 2023 season, and his hiring has paid off.

Okada has taken the team to the top of the league standings. It’s a massive achievement for them because they have not felt a drop-off from the Yano era. After all, Okada has kept the team on track with their goal of winning their first title since 1985.

The team is filled with promising talents like Hiroto Saiki, Yusuke Oyama, and Rutaro Umeno. However, a young standout for the team is rookie Shoki Murakami, who played nearly perfect baseball in his first NPB season in 2023.

Yokohama DeNA BayStars

The BayStars are the closest team in the Central League that can compete with Hanshin at the top of the standings. That is a big deal because if they can keep up with the best team in the NPB, they have a good chance of pulling off an upset and becoming one of the strongest NPB teams.

They want to keep up with the best team in the CL, which is why they signed big names like Trevor Bauer. He is a former Cy Young Award winner in the MLB in 2020, and he can help the BayStars with their pitching quality.

The Trevor Bauer run in Japan

Getting a big name like Bauer was a massive move from the BayStars as they can take big swings in building the roster. He has not played many games just yet, but his talent jumps off the page enough to make this team a tough matchup in every game. If he can show why he was seen as one of the best pitchers in the MLB, this team is a likely choice to win the title.

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Hiroshima Toyo Carp

With their best days being back in the 1980s, Hiroshima wants to return to the promised land. This 2023 run so far is promising for the team as they’re striving to be a Playoff team. Their last berth was back in 2018, but they have struggled to get off the ground.

A scrappy team ready to compete in every game

This team is motivated to break the rut they found themselves in over the past few years. This is seen with Hiroshima’s performances as they always work hard to chase the ball, whether it’s a big swing or a bunt.

With new manager Takahiro Arai at the helm, Hiroshima is off to a better start than in previous seasons. This big change makes them ready to keep up with both the BayStars and the Tigers in the Central League.

Pacific League

The following are the three best teams in the Pacific League so far in the 2023 season and how they keep performing at the highest level:

Orix Buffaloes

As the defending Japan Series winning team from 2022, the Buffaloes have not lost a step in the 2023 season. Their momentum has carried over to this season as they continue to dominate the league.

They are the professional baseball strongest team in the Pacific League just like the year before and they are ready to showcase their talents at the highest level yet again.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s ace performances

Yamamoto is the Orix’s biggest star as he shines as a star pitcher. Even Major League Baseball teams are ready to recruit him because of his performances for the Buffaloes over the past few years. His arm is one of the strongest in Japan as he always proves with his intense pitches that are difficult to hit.

As the ace, Yamamoto is not only reliable for his performances as an inspiration to the rest of the Japan professional baseball team. If he plays well, the rest of the team will likely perform on the same level as him with high energy and a willingness to chase the ball wherever it goes.

Chiba Lotte Marines

This team has been consistently strong in the Pacific League since 2020. That bodes well for this club because they are ready to be part of the top NPB teams. Managed by Masato Yoshii, this team works hard to keep in step with their opponents, and they rely on their ace Roki Sasaki to get them over the hump with his pitching.

Roki Sasaki’s star power

Sasaki is the latest of the superstar baseball prospects in Japan. The last example of this was Shohei Ohtani, considered the best player in the world due to his excursions to the MLB as part of the Los Angeles Angels. Now, Sasaki is following in his footsteps, evident with the hype around him and his high-powered performances for the Marines.

San Diego Padres and Japanese national team pitcher Yu Darvish believe in the hype surrounding Sasaki. Darvish believes Sasaki’s pitches are one of the toughest to hit in Japan, making the Marines a tough matchup for any batter against Sasaki.

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Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

The Hawks have a long history of success in the NPB, with 11 Japan Series wins to their name. They are constantly working to get back to the highest level of the NPB after several player departures to the MLB. The latest of which was Kodai Senga, who decided to move to the New York Mets before the 2023 season.

An NPB team with money to spend on recruitment

This Hawks team is committed to keeping up with the rest of the NPB. Despite losing Senga to the MLB, they made a quick pivot by signing Kensuke Kondoh from Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. At the same time, they also replaced their foreign hitter core by signing Courtney Hawkins and Willians Astudillo.

It is an excellent decision to take a chance on some players who did not have the best stints in their previous teams. An example is the signing of Kohei Arihara, who previously struggled with the Texas Rangers in the MLB. You can tell the potential is there, and the Hawks want to unlock that and showcase their skills at the highest level of the NPB.

How to gauge a good team for bets

If you want to know what professional baseball team you want to bet on here in the NPB aside from the top Nippon Professional Baseball teams, you should know how to determine why they’re good options. Here are the best metrics for the top teams:

  • Keep track of momentum: Make sure to look at a team’s recent win-loss record to see how they have fared in recent games. This helps you identify the best NPB teams in 2023 and successive seasons because you track their momentum well.

  • Look at the talent level: Look into each team’s roster of players and how their talent stacks up with the rest of the league. Top-level players like Roki Sasaki can tip the scales in a team’s favour because their skill sets are much better than any other player on the opposing team.

  • Learn the tactics: Watch the NPB matches since you can see the best tactics at work in the teams. This is a ‘see it to believe it’ situation to gauge how teams match up depending on their tactics.

Who is the favourite to win the 2023 NPB season?

The Hanshin Tigers are the favourite to win the Japan Series because they have a roster being the professional baseball team with the most wins so far. Their consistency is important for any bettor because they are now tapped as the favourite to win the league.

They can get on the list of winningest NPB teams which has the Yomiuri Giants as the top pro baseball history winning team in Japan at 22 wins.

Defending champs, Orix Buffaloes is the second-best team in the favourites rankings, which can help them become a Japan Series successive winning team twice in a row. This should be a good one to keep an eye on because they have the wholly important experience for a competition like the NPB.

Make your NPB bets here at Sportsbet.io

Placing bets on the best Japanese baseball teams is fun, especially when you can win high rewards in return. You can place bets on the go with the Sportsbet.iomobile app and stay connected with the competition. Start betting on your favourite NPB teams now at Sportsbet.io!

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The information provided by the blog above on Sportsbet.io is for general information purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation, warranty, or guarantee of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, or completeness of any information or betting tips on the Site.

Cholo Martin4 Aug 2023

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