The MLB World Tour continues in late June, as the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals are set to play in the London Series. The two-game series, which will take place Saturday and Sunday, is set to be played at London Stadium, where West Ham United normally plays.
The series will mark the first time since 2019 that MLB has played a game in Europe. The 2019 series featured the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The first game of that series turned out to be memorable, as a combined 30 runs were scored in a 17-13 win by the Yankees.
The Cardinals and Cubs were originally slated to take part in the London Series in 2020, but the series was canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The league did not play any games outside the United States or Canada until 2023, when the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants played in the Mexico Series in April. The Padres won both games, which saw a total of 37 runs scored.
Who will serve as the home team in the London Series?
The Cardinals will host the Cubs in London. Both teams have experience playing games internationally. The Cubs traveled to Tokyo, Japan to play the New York Mets, and took on the Montreal Expos in San Juan, Puerto Rico during the 2003 season. The Cardinals played against the Cincinnati Reds in Monterrey, Mexico in 2019.
What are the pitching matchups for the London Series?
The Cubs will send Justin Steele to the mound to take on Adam Wainwright on Saturday. Steele is in the midst of his finest season as a pro, and has a 2.71 ERA over 73 innings. Wainwright, the long-time Cardinals ace, is off to a rough start in 2023. He has a 5.56 ERA over 43 2/3 innings.
On Sunday, Marcus Stroman will get the start against Jack Flaherty. Stroman is putting up All-Star numbers for the Cubs, and has a 2.28 ERA over 98 2/3 innings. Flaherty carries a 4.95 ERA into the contest. He’s thrown 80 innings.
How will London Stadium play?
During a 2019 series between the Red Sox and Yankees, a grand total of 50 runs were scored over two games. The Yankees took the first game, 17-13, and won the second game, 12-8.
MLB is trying to curb some of that this time around. The league is moving the fences back for the Cardinals-Cubs series. Center field is expected to be seven-feet deeper this time around. Right-center and left-center will be pushed back roughly five feet. The wall won’t be pushed back near the foul poles. It will still be roughly 330 feet down each line.
That might cut down on some offense, but the park should still play pretty small compared to most MLB stadiums.
How can I watch the MLB London Series?
Saturday’s contest will be televised by Fox and is scheduled to start at 1:10 p.m. ET.
Sunday’s game will be televised by ESPN and is scheduled for a 10:10 a.m. ET start time.
Are there more MLB World Tour games in 2023?
No additional MLB World Tour games are set to take place in 2023. The league is expected to return to London in 2024 and 2026. There are rumors the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets will play in the London Series in 2024. There are also reports suggesting the 2024 MLB season will open in Korea.
As part of the most recent collective bargaining agreement, both MLB and the MLBPA agreed to play more international games. The league is reportedly looking to play games in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Paris and Puerto Rico.
Source: Yahoo Sports