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MLB London Series Returns Once Again

Francisco Lindor throws the ball during Spring Training.

The New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies will face off in London for the third installment of the MLB event.

The MLB London Series is finally back!  The New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies will face off in an international series that takes place this afternoon and Sunday morning, East Coast time. It marks the third time that MLB has brought a series to London. The first contested series took place back in 2019. It featured the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, who are also long-time rivals. Last season, the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals faced off in England. And those series were definitely successful. MLB is hoping they can replicate that success again with both the Mets and Phillies going up against each other.

Team Comparisons

It is important to know that both teams are going in different directions this year in the NL East division. The Phillies own the second-best record in baseball and sit atop the division. It is fair to say that things have been going as well as Philadelphia hoped thus far. Nothing is stopping this team from winning the series. They hope they can carry their winning momentum into this weekend series with their division rival Mets.

Meanwhile, things haven’t been going well for the Mets thus far. They have struggled to close out games, which explains their current position in the standings. However, they are not the worst team in the division, and there is still hope for a turnaround. Recently, they are coming off a three-game series sweep against the Washington Nationals in D.C. It also marks the first time that New York has won three games in a row this season. Sure, it is only three games, but it could be a positive sign of what is to come. There is still time for this team to turn it around. Entering Friday, they sit just sit three games back in the wild card standings. If they can find a way to build up on their winning streak, that would be something meaningful for this Mets team.

Key Players to Watch

For the Philadelphia Phillies, the one key player to watch is 1B Bryce Harper. So far, he has been playing like an MVP, which is no surprise. He currently leads the team in different categories such as home runs (14) and OPS (.890). He is probably going to be the most crucial player to continue to carry Philadelphia’s winning momentum against their rivals. Then they have C J.T Realmuto, whose skills as a catcher and hitter provide strength and depth to this Phillies’ team. Without him, the team wouldn’t be this good and would find themselves in a different position in the standings.

On the Mets side, their leader is 1B Pete Alonso. Despite his early struggles, he has started to turn it around slowly. He has been known for his powerful bat that he carries with him. Like Harper, he does lead the team in homers. Not to mention, Alonso also has to carry the team with the RBIs. Then they have SS Francisco Lindor. Part of what makes Lindor a phenomenal player is not only because of his bat but also his defensive skills. His ability to make game-changing plays is what make this Mets team competitive. It is crucial for Lindor to bring those skills if New York wants to continue their winning momentum.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: starting for New York is LHP Sean Manaea. He has been a solid pitcher for the starting rotation this season so far. The Mets signed him last offseason to a two-year deal worth $28 million. In his last start, he earned his second loss of the year, allowing five earned runs in just five-and-two-thirds innings pitched. He looks to bounce back following that rough outing. Going up for Philadelphia is LHP Ranger Suarez. So far this year, he has looked like a Cy Young pitcher. He leads the teams with wins (nine) and ERA (1.70). In his most recent start, Suarez had to leave the game early after taking a hard line drive to the hand.

Game 2: starting for New York is LHP Jose Quintana. He has not been the pitcher that the Mets hoped he would be. Quintana has struggled with consistency all year long. He earned his fifth loss of the year in his last start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Mets hope he can turn it around sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, Philadelphia will give the ball to RHP Taijuan Walker. Similar to Quintana, Walker has been struggling as well. His ERA sits at 5.73 on the season.

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