The best performing NPB teams of 2022

The baseball betting scene has always focused on the sport's biggest league, Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America. Although it poses tons of amazing opportunities to win big, there are tons of other viable leagues that you can bet on at Sportsbet. In Japan, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) is the most prestigious league in the country. 

Known as one of the most passionate countries when it comes to baseball, you can expect the same top-tier games in the NPB as in the MLB. This is because they have tons of notable players that have become renowned in the league for their top-tier gameplay. One of which is Ichiro Suzuki, a former professional who played for 28 years. 

Since the NPB doesn't have many fans in the West, betting on it has fallen by the wayside, even though the league is full of talented players and teams that can draw in that demographic. 

With the 2022 NPB season wrapped up, there has been a shift in which teams are considered to be the best ones. The Orix Buffaloes took their first win which has drawn the attention of many punters.

The 2023 NPB season will take place by March 30 when the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters will go against the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. Before the next starts, this article will be discussing which teams did the best during the 2022 NPB season. This will help tons for sports betting Japan punters that plan to place their wagers on the games next season.

Orix Buffaloes

As 2022’s season winner, the Orix Buffaloes deserve a spot on the list for a well-deserved win. After 26 years, the team was able to clinch the title that is theirs to keep. The Buffaloes beat the Central League champion, the Yakult Swallows, 5-4.

Not many believed that the team was going to be able to win the championship. There was one point in the series where they were down 2-0, with one tie after three games. The Buffaloes pulled through and won four straight games afterwards. 

The Orix Buffaloes are the result of merged teams from the Pacific League: the Orix BlueWave and Kintetsu Buffaloes. Although the initial proposal had some complications, the Buffaloes were then born after. The last time they won the championships was in 1996 which is why this is a historic victory for the team.

Having proven that they are capable of winning the Japan series, many bettors have their eyes on the team for the next season. Some notable players in the squad include Yoshihisa Hirano, Mamoru Kishida, and Takahiro Matsuba. They have great potential to grab the title with top tier players in the current lineup. 


Yomiuri Giants

The Yomiuri Giants is one of the biggest teams in the history of the NPB, with over 22 titles. Although they had a sloppy season in the past few years, they are still held to a high degree due to their reputation. 

The Giants have been a weak team in recent years, but some encouraging signs point to a return to the top of the NPB standings. They are now prepared to regain their strength as a team after years of toiling in mediocrity, making them a top betting option for you. Since they've assembled a strong roster, you can anticipate an improvement in this team's performance.

Expect them making some significant signings and trades when opportunities arise because they are such a well-known team. They are also regarded as Japan's team because they are dependable and they can always exceed expectations.

The team has had some fantastic players, including several batters who could be regarded as aces. You can expect players like Hayato Sakamoto, Kazuma Okamoto, and Yoshihiro Maru to perform well, given their great records in the past few years.

Compared to other teams, they are stronger in the Central League, but they haven't won in the NPB since 2012. If you want to place a wager on them, you should look at their roster because they have the option of keeping their starting lineup from 2022 while also adding some high-profile players to the group.

Hanshin Tigers

Considered to be one of the oldest baseball clubs in Japan, the Hanshin Tigers are on the list as one of the best-performing teams of 2022. Despite mediocre performances in the past years, you can still expect them to play well in the future with the changes they are making. They remain one of the most competitive teams in the NPB so they will continuously be working towards their next NPB title.

Despite not having the same strong record as the Yomiuri Giants, punters continue to bet on the team. The Giants have outperformed most teams in a particular period if you look back at their previous few seasons. The Hanshin Tigers have the potential to do so with their current lineup.  

The Tigers have developed into a respectable playoff team in the latter half of the 2010s and the beginning of the 2020s. Of course, the Tigers have yet to win a trophy, but this is still a positive development, especially if they want to maintain this level of momentum going into the 2022 campaign. 

The realistic prediction is that they are not the favourites to win the title, but they could emerge as a surprise contender in the 2023 NPB season. They have the lineup to compete with any other team in the NPB without issue, so they could be the most unexpected team to seize that opportunity to win. 

The Tigers don't have the best odds to win the 2023 championship, but you can count on them to give it their all in the fight for first place. They have demonstrated in recent years that they are capable of competing at a high level, but it is now up to them to show off everything they have accomplished.

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks did not perform well in 2020, 2021, or 2022 but they have the potential to soar and become a serious NPB contender. You can rely on them to be a reliable wager because they are a reliable team that isn't thought to be a true title contender. If the Hawks can pick up steam, though, you can anticipate that they'll be among your best betting options.

When discussing their roster, you can anticipate that only a select few names will come to mind. Always keep an eye on Ryoya Kurihara, who had a fantastic 2021 season, leading the team with 21 home runs. 

Although this team struggled offensively, if they gain solid momentum, Kurihara or Nobuhiro Matsuda should be the top options. If you're looking for this team's top pitchers, Shinya Kayama and Sho Iwasaki are both solid options.

From reading the sports betting odds, it’s clear that underdogs have the least chance to win in a match but the Hawks have shown they deserve a chance. Even though the odds haven't gone in their favour in the past, they have recently performed well and appear to be promising enough to develop into a trustworthy betting option for you.

Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles

The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles have had some successful playoff runs in recent years, but they haven't won a championship in their brief history. Despite being a young team, they only won the Pacific League and Japan Series championships in 2013. Although the Golden Eagles have only received five playoff berths during their time in the NPB, they have demonstrated some abilities to compete at the highest level. 

It's not good for the Golden Eagles' chances in 2023 that they have missed the playoffs every other year since 2017. However, they have built a strong roster that will be impressive to see outside of the postseason. They are prepared to field a roster that can compete with any NPB team, so this is their chance to break the cycle of missing the playoffs every other year.

Having an above-average record in 2022, they were unable to win the season. Most gamblers do not anticipate that record-breaking in 2023, so it does not bode well for them. However, you should also consider that they can raise their level. 

They have two top batters, Hideto Asamura and Hiroaki Shimauchi, who you should keep an eye on. Since Kazuhisa Ishii is a capable manager with strategies that can keep them current in terms of NPB baseball predictions, they can carry this team when they are in the lead.

Bet on the best-performing NPB team of 2022

With 12 teams to choose from for the upcoming season, doing the right amount of research will help your odds of winning great payouts at Sportsbet. Considering the performance of the teams in the 2022 season, the Orix Buffaloes and the Yomiuri Giants are amazing choices when betting on the NPB. However, the other teams can be considered ‘dark horses’ seeing how their current lineups. If you are feeling lucky, bet on the underdogs for even bigger payouts.