Chunichi Dragons (10-6)
Hector Luna leads the Central League in hitting with a .379 average. The slugger only has two extra base hits among his 22 hits, both of those doubles. Another foreigner Anderson Hernandez is hitting .338. Ryosuke Hirata is the other starter in the lineup hitting over .300 (.305), which also includes a team leading 14 walks. Nobumasa Fukuda has clubbed all three homeruns for the Dragons and is the club leader in RBIs with 10. Yohei Oshima leads the team in runs scored with 12.
Yudai Ono (1-0, 0.56) leads the Central League in ERA after his first two starts. Raul Valdes (1.29) has been the work horse with four starts and 28 innings. His 22 strikeouts leads the Central League. Daisuke Yamai (1.96) gives them three solid starters. Koji Fukutani (2.08) has picked up three saves and two holds as the team closer. Katsuki Matayoshi leads the Central League in appearances (10) and has picked up five holds, but a 5.06 ERA has shown his inconsistency.
DeNA Yokahama Bay Stars (9-6)
The Bay Stars have failed to bring Yulieski Gouriel to Japan for a second season because of health issues, but Aarom Baldiris is helping salve that wound, his .372 average second in the Central League in hitting. Aarom has hit two homeruns and driven in 12. The Yomiuri Giants decided to keep Cuban Frederich Cepeda and discard extra foreigner Jose Lopez. The Bay Stars are glad to add the Giants loss to their lineup. Lopez has hit a league leading 6 homeruns, is hitting .361 and has a league leading 13 RBIs. The Bay Stars are hoping this will last. Takehiro Ishikawa (.357) and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (.345) have also carried hot sticks. Tsutsugo has scored a team leading 12 runs while Ishikawa is 4 for 4 in stolen bases. Takayuki Kajitani (.292) leads all players in doubles with 10 in just 15 games and is 5 for 6 in stolen bases.
Guillermo Moscoso (1.50) and Shun Yamaguchi (4.32) have each picked up two wins without a loss. Yasuaki Yamasaki (3.86) has four saves.
Yakult Swallows (8-7)
The Swallows are waiting on the return of their injured star Wladimir Balentien. Without him they are severely lacking in power. Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (.263) and Tetsuto Yamada (.298) have four of their five homeruns, each slugging two. Kazuhiro leads the team in RBIs with 10. Shingo Kawabata is hitting .365 and is leading the team in runs scored with 11. The other big foreign bat on the team, Lastings Milledge has only been able to play four games and is hitting .250. He missed most of the 2014 season because of a shoulder injury.
The Swallows lead the NPB in ERA at 1.67, breaking a record of limiting the opponents to three or less runs in their first 14 games. Yasuhiro Ogawa leads the pitching staff with a 0.90 ERA in three starts. Toshihiro Sugiura (2.33), Masanori Ishikawa (2.37) and Taichi Ishiyama (0.64) also contribute to the starting rotation. Tony Barnette (0.00) has yet to give up a run in six appearances, picking up a hold, four saves and a win. Logan Ondrusek has not allowed a run in eight appearances and Ryo Akiyoshi (2.35) is 2-0 with three holds in his seven appearances.
Yomiuri Giants (7-8)
The Giants are not getting a lot from their offense. Veteran Shinnosuke Abe has been their most consistent hitter with a .314 average, but his power has disappeared with only two of his 16 hits going for extra bases. Only the Hanshin Tigers have a worse batting average than the Giants .229. Hisayoshi Chono is struggling with a .186 average and Shuichi Murata is hitting .220 with no extra base hits. Yoshiyuki Kamei (3) and Yasuyuki Kataoka (2) have hit all five of their homeruns, with Kamei leading the team in RBIs with 10. Frederich Cepeda has only been getting pinch hitting appearances and has yet to get a hit in 16 at bats and Leslie Anderson is still not healthy enough to play. It has got to hurt to see all the offense Jose Lopez is giving the Bay Stars.
Hayato Takagi (3-0, 1.23) won his first three starts, a rarity for a rookie in the NPB. He leads the team in innings pitched with 22. Tomoyuki Sugano (1-2, 2.14) has been troubled by a lack of offense in the games he pitches, allowing only five runs in his three starts, but still taking two losses. Aaron Poreda (1-1, 4.00) and Miles Mikolas (0-1, 3.27) have been two of the foreign starters. Scott Mathieson (3.68) again got off to a slow start in the pen.
Hanshin Tigers (6-9)
The Tigers are second in the Central League in homeruns with 8, but last in hitting at .223. No player on the team with over 10 at bats is hitting over .300. Kosuke Fukudome is the top homerun hitter with 3, but he is only hitting .244. Another ex-major leaguer Tsuyoshi Nishioka is their top hitter with a .288 average. He has hit five doubles. Foreign players Matt Murton (.250) and Mauro Gomez (.255) have ice cold bats with only Gomez having the lone homerun between the two of them. Hiroki Uemoto has 10 walks but only a .140 average. Takeshi Toritani, who considered jumping to the major leagues but found little interest returned to Hanshin and is hitting a decent .270, but has only driven in two runs.
Starting pitcher has been inconsistent with only Shintaro Fujinami (1-1, 3.60) and Minoru Iwata (0-1, 3.98) providing the best offerings. Randy Messenger (1-1, 4.74) has been very hittable. Korean Seung-Hwan Oh (1.50) still provides a solid closer option with four saves. Ryoma Matsuda (3-1, 1.50) has vultured three wins in his six appearances.
Hiroshima Carp (5-9)
The Carp are last in the Central League in runs scored with 38. Their only two homeruns have been hit by Ryosuke Kikuchi. Kosuke Tanaka has been their biggest run producer with 9 RBIs. Yoshihiro Maru is giving the team a lot of strikeouts (16) with a low average (.179). Jesus Guzman was hitting (.333) but he has only played in 8 games. Shota Dobayashi appears to have lost his starting job because of a lack of production.
Kenta Maeda (1-0, 1.71) has given them three ace level starts. Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 2.25) has pitched well in his return to Japan. The innings eater has been Kris Johnson (1-0, 1.57) with 23. Now if they only could find some bats to reward these solid pitching performances. Deunte Heath (0-1, 1.23) has picked up three saves and three holds in his seven appearances. Ryuji Ichioka (0-3, 4.50) and Shota Nakazaki (0-2, 5.19) have coughed up five of their nine losses from the pen.