The Dragons can win one of the next three to move on to the Japan Series to take on the Nippon Ham Fighters. The Fighters manager, Trey Hillman, is reported to be in negotiations with the Kansas City Royals to take over the job there.
The Dragons are aiming for their eighth Central League title and their second straight.
The Fighters are attempting to win back-to-back Japan Series titles, something that has not been done since the Seibu Lions won three straight from 1990-92. The Dragons have never won the Central League in consecutive years and have not won the Japan Series since 1954.