The second half kicks off today. Of particular note, a 3-game series between the Yomiuri Giants and Chunichi Dragons at Tokyo Dome. Only 2.5 games separate these two teams so if the Dragons manage a sweep, there could be a new team in first place when the series ends. The Giants are 8-4 against the Dragons and managed a sweep against them the last time they collided at Tokyo Dome.
The Swallows also begin a very important 3-game set against the Hiroshima Carp at Jingu Stadium. The Swallow are 8-3 against the Carp this season and swept a homestand series back in April, outscoring Hiroshoma 15-3.
The Chiba Lotte Marines have a chance to change the landscape at the top of the PL standings when they play host to the Nippon Ham Fighters for a 3-game set at Chiba Marine Stadium. It'll also be interesting to see how the fans react to the Bobby's statement about stepping down at the end of the season.
The second place Softbank Hawks begin a 3-game series against the last place Buffaloes (one game at Nagasaki, 2 games at Yahoo Dome). But don't let that fool you -- despite the huge gap between the two in the standings, the Buffaloes have managed to hold their own against the Hawks this year. In 11 games, the Hawks are only 6-5 against the Buffaloes. And while the Hawks have outscored the Buffaloes 60-34 in 11 games, it should be noted that 36 of those runs came in three blow-out games.
Other games on the schedule:
Yokohama Bay Stars vs. Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium
Rakuten Eagles vs. Seibu Lions (one game at Morioka, one game at Akita, one game at Seibu Dome)
|Yokohama Bay Stars||84||30||54||0||.357||23||282||393||75||31||.235||4.30||0-2|
|Nippon Ham Fighters||81||48||32||1||.600||---||423||302||66||72||.286||3.55||2-0|
|Chiba Lotte Marines||85||34||48||3||.415||15||360||390||76||30||.255||4.45||0-2|
*current as of 7/28/2009, 2:28pm JST