Some of my favorite anime to come out of the last couple years have been Madhouse's adaptations of the works of suspense manga author Nobuyuki Fukumoto. Akagi and Kaiji were both gambling stories that carried themselves by diving deep into the psychological warfare that takes place over a gamble: as a gamer who deals in that kind of thing, it's a lot of fun to watch the mind games unfold. The shows have apparently met with great success, as the Akagi adaptation begat the Kaiji adaptation by the same staff, with a second season of Kaiji coming next year. Meanwhile, the staff is adapting One Outs, which isn't by Fukumoto at all, but, well... it's about a nihilist genius gambler who will remind Fukumoto fans of nobody so much as nihilist genius gambler Shigeru Akagi. He's even voiced by the same guy!
One Outs is an underground gamble that's basically an extreme simplification of baseball: a pitcher goes up against a batter. If the batter strikes out, or hits the ball in the infield, he loses. If he hits it past the infield, he wins. That's it. You don't really need to know or care about baseball to understand this. Case in point: Akagi was about Japanese-rules mahjong, which few viewers actually comprehended while watching the show. But the show worked anyway. A lot of those viewers, myself included, went out and learned mahjong after watching Akagi, because Akagi was a spectacular badass. For Akagi, and for One Outs, it's not really about the game at all.
It's about the gamble, man: it's about the bluffs and the second-guessing, the intimidation, the fear. It's about seeing people in do-or-die situations doing or dying, and sometimes both. Yuzo Sato and his staff bring all the tense atmosphere they put into Akagi and Kaiji here, sans Fukumoto's famous "zawa...zawa" sound effect. From the omniscient play-by-play narration to the repeat use of Masato Hagiwara as the hero (he played sad sack Kaiji as well), the show is pretty much built in the same mode. Don't expect particularly outstanding animation: all the action is taking place on the inside.
I should note that the staff is selling really hard to the huge fujioshi following that the Fukumoto manga have had for a long time: the opening sequence consists almost entirely of long, slow pans of our hero, who is, of course, shirtless and wearing leather pants. I guess they want to make sure the fangirls don't leave. I think it'd totally rule if the OP was just the hero kneecapping people with fastballs over and over again, but the staff already knows they've got me eagerly awaiting the next episode. Meanwhile, I'm going to read Liar Game, by One Outs author Shinobu Kaitani, and hope it's good.