MLB London Series: What you need to know as the Phillies and Mets compete across the pond

by Admin
MLB London Series: What you need to know as the Phillies and Mets compete across the pond

A view of the field ahead of the MLB London Series at London Stadium. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)

Major League Baseball is crossing the Atlantic for the third iteration of its London Series. Here’s everything you need to know as the All-American game goes international this weekend.

Past London Series have featured classic MLB rivalries: The first iteration in 2019 spotlighted the New York Yankees vs. the Boston Red Sox, while the 2023 London Series (rescheduled from 2020) showcased the Chicago Cubs vs. the St. Louis Cardinals.

This year’s matchup features the Philadelphia Phillies vs. the New York Mets, with the two NL East rivals meeting for the second time this season. The Phillies won their series in May, taking three of four games. Philadelphia currently has the second-best record in baseball at 44-19, while the Mets are eight games under .500 at 27-35.

The two teams will meet for a two-game series on Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9. Saturday’s game starts at 1:10 p.m. ET, and Sunday’s starts at 10:10 a.m. ET. The Mets will play as the home team for the first game, and the Phillies will play as the home team for the second.

Both games will be available on cable and streaming, with the first game airing on Fox and the second on ESPN.

Given that baseball is America’s pastime, England doesn’t have a ton of MLB-ready baseball fields. As a result, this weekend’s games are taking place on a specially-made baseball field constructed inside London Stadium. The 68,000-seat stadium is part of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; the entire complex was built for the 2012 Olympics.

MLB converted the West Ham United soccer pitch into a baseball diamond, laying down dirt and turf to completely transform the stadium and make it game-ready for this weekend.

On Saturday, the Phillies are planning to start lefty Ranger Suárez, who leads the league in ERA with a 1.70 mark and whose 9-1 record is tied at the top of the pitching leaderboard. The Mets will start Sean Manaea, another lefty with a 3.63 ERA.

On Sunday, Philadelphia will go with LHP José Quintana, who has a 5.17 ERA, and New York is set to start RHP Taijuan Walker, who has a 5.73 ERA.

MLB’s international games tend to draw famous figures, and the London Series is no exception. Past London games have seen celebrities including Bill Murray, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

MLB has played games outside of the U.S. and Canada as far back as 1996 and has played several games in Mexico and Japan. The league has ramped up international games in recent years as part of efforts to grow the game outside North America. This season has featured a series between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers in Seoul, South Korea, a series between the Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies in Mexico City and now the London Series.

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