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

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

A view of the field ahead of the MLB London Series Match at the London Stadium, London on June 7, 2024. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)

Once again, 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 Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, while the 2023 London Series (rescheduled from 2020, after the games were canceled because of the pandemic) 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 that last series in May, taking three of the four games. Philadelphia currently holds 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 (10:10 a.m. PT) and Sunday's starts at 10:10 a.m. ET (a bright and early 7:10 a.m. PT). 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 are available on cable and streaming, with the first game airing on Fox and the second airing 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 pitch constructed inside London Stadium. The 68,000-seat stadium is part of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; the entire complex was originally 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 table. 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, while New York is starting RHP Taijuan Walker, who has a 5.73 ERA.

MLB's big international games tend to draw famous figures, and the London Series is no exception. Past London games have seen celebrities like 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 countries like 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 alone has featured a series between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers in Seoul, a Houston Astros-Colorado Rockies series in Mexico City, and now the London Series.

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