The Orix Buffaloes have the makings of a Pacific League dynasty after winning three straight pennants.

Orix and manager Satoshi Nakajima absorbed the loss of star hitter Masataka Yoshida, who moved to MLB after the 2022 season, and now forge ahead without ace pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who left for the majors after last season.

Their path to a fourth straight title is fraught with peril, however, as the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks gather their forces for a renewed push for the crown. The race for the pennant and Climax Series spots promises to be tight as the other five PL teams try to prevent another Buffaloes stampede.