Watch Yomiuri Giants Vs. Hanshin Tigers Live Online: Japan Baseball Rivals Clash, NPB Race Heats Up

Watch exciting Japanese pro baseball live online as the country’s two fiercest rivals, the Yomiuri Giants and Hanshin Tigers, meet in a key pennant race matchup at the Tokyo Dome in the heart of Japan’s sprawling capital city. The Osaka-based Tigers currently sit in first place in the Nippon Pro Baseball Central League, with Yomiuri just 3 1/2 games out in third with 35 games remaining on the 144-game NPB schedule.

To find out how to watch the Yomiuri Giants vs. Hanshin Tigers game live online, see the information in the final paragraph of this article. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 18 at the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome, Japan Standard Time. In the United States, the game airs live at 5 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 2 a.m. Pacific.

For fans unfamiliar with Japanese professional baseball, the Yomiuri Giants — founded in 1934 and owned by the Yomiuri conglomerate, which also owns the TV network that broadcasts Giants games and publishes Japan’s largest newspaper, the Yomiuri Shimbun — is by far the most popular team in Japan, selling out most games at home as well as on the road.

But the Tigers, owned by the Hanshin Electric Railway Company, were founded just two years after the Giants and quickly built a strong regional following in the Osaka region — fans who hate the Giants much the way Boston Red Sox fans hate the New York Yankees.

The Giants, of course, are best known in the United States as the Japanese team where former Yankees star Hideki Matsui began his career.

This year, the Giants are led by slugging 27-year-old shortstop Hayato Sakamoto (pictured above) and 25-year-old righty hurler Tomoyuki Sugano, who brings a league-leading 1.98 ERA into the series against Hanshin that opens Tuesday.

The Tigers feature former Major Leaguer Kosuke Fukudome, who played for the Chicago Cubs as well as Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox in a five-year MLB career, before returning to Japan to join Hanshin.

Another former Cub, Matt Murton, also stars for Hanshin.

The Yomiuri Giants vs. Hanshin Tigers Nippon Professional Baseball game on August 18 will be streamed live online by One World Sports, which is also the sole United States outlet to watch most Yomiuri Giants home games. The Sling TV international sports package includes One World Sports and costs $10 per month. But the first month is free, allowing subscribers to decide after that time whether they want to pay for the online TV service or not. To take advantage of the Sling TV offer, visit this link. For U.S.-based baseball fans who aren’t early birds, the game re-airs on One World Sports at noon Eastern on Tuesday, 9 a.m. Pacific.

[Image: One World Sports Screen Grab]