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While MLB teams resume their play after the Allstar break their Japanese counterparts still have a few days to go before they play their version of the Midsummer Classic. And on both sides of the Pacific it seems that two teams are giving it their best shot at the championship in a long time. The Chicago Cubs lead their division although they lost yesterday to the Houston Astros. In Japan the Hanshin Tigers (阪神タイガース)are on a mission it seems. Their record reads 55 wins, 27 losses, 1 draw which not only is the best record in Japanese baseball (The Pacific League leaders Seibu Lions stand at 47-38-1), but it also gives them an 11.5 games lead over their archrivals, the Yomiuri Giants. The Tigers haven’t won a championship in the Japan Series since 1985 and that was their only title. Last year they lost in the first round of the Central League Climax Series to the Chunichi Dragons who would go on to win the championship. (more…)

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