Only two batters in the Pacific League…Even if he fails to hit 30 in 11 years, he can be the home run king, and Orix Seibu has two earned runs
Nippon Professional Baseball is a “two-hitter” again this year. There is no shortage of pitchers with fastballs and great pitches. The Pacific League is even worse than the Central League. Both leagues only have two triple-hitters, but the Pacific League has one. Yuma Tongu (Orix Buffaloes) is 7-for-33 and Yuki Yanagita (SoftBank Hawks) is 1-for-3.
Two of the Pacific League’s six teams have sub-2.00 ERAs. The defending champion Oryx are at 2.63 and the Seibu Lions are at 2.93. In the KBO, the NC Dinos are the best at 3.65, while the Pacific League’s “last place” Rakuten Eagles are at 3.56.
At this rate, it’s possible to win the home run title without hitting 30.
After 21 days, Hideto Asamura (Rakuten) and Gregory Polanco (Chiba Lotte Marines) are tied for first place. Each hit his 25th home run of the season on July 21.
Jusei Mannami (Nippon Ham Fighters) and Gensuke Kondo (SoftBank) are tied for third with 23, and five players have surpassed 20 homers, including Yanagita, who has 20. Mannami, who has hit three in his last five games, has closed the gap on the leaders.먹튀검증
The Central League is dominated by Kazuma Okamoto (Yomiuri Giants). He’s hit 41. A third home run title is in sight. Munetaka Murakami (Yakult Swallows) is second with 30 and Shugo Maki (Yokohama BayStars) is third with 29.
Pacific League teams have between 11 and 14 games left to play. Based on recent home run production, it’s possible the season could end without a 30-homer hitter.
Yomiuri Okamoto. The only 40-homer hitter in both leagues. Photo credit: Yomiuri Giants SNS
Takeya Nakamura (Seibu Lions) won the home run title in 2012 with 27, the last player to hit fewer than 30. It seems likely that we will have our first 20-homer player in 11 years.
From 1962 through last season, there have only been two other times a player has won the home run title with fewer than 30, including Nakamura. Nakamura was preceded by Hiroki Kokubo (Dai-E Hawks), who won the title in 1995 with 28.
In the KBO, Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha Eagles) has 30 and Choi Jung (SSG Landers) has 25.