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Where to watch Phillies vs. Mets in London: TV channel, game times, live stream, prediction, storylines

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For the third time in history, Major League Baseball will play regular season games in London this weekend. The NL East rivals New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies have heded across the pond to play the two-game London Series. The 2019 London Series, which featured the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, was MLB’s first ever trip to Europe. The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals played in the 2023 London Series.

“I think everybody is excited to go,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said earlier this week (via MLB.com). “I think this is going to be unique, and it’s going to be a great experience for everybody involved.”

The 2024 London Series will again be played at London Stadium, which was built for the 2012 London Olympics. It’s a multipurpose facility that is currently the home of the Premier League club West Ham United. London Stadium seats 62,500 for soccer matches and will seat a touch more for this weekend’s baseball games.

Here are the details for this weekend’s Mets vs. Phillies series in London. Both games can be streamed on fubo (try for free).

The Mets and Phillies were both off Thursday and Friday — MLB and the two teams are participating in promotional events leading up to this weekend’s games — so they’ll go into the London Series with well-rested bullpens.

Although they enter the London Series with a disappointing 27-35 record, the Mets are hot. They just swept three games from the Washington Nationals and have won five of their last seven games overall. The Phillies have been the best team in the National League all season. They are 44-19 overall and have won six of their last seven games. Both teams are playing well.

This is a home-and-home series. The Mets will be the home team Saturday and the Phillies will be the home team Sunday. To make the schedule work, the Mets and Phillies played a usual four-game home-and-home series last month. They played two games at Citi Field from May 13-14, then two games at Citizens Bank Park from May 15-16. The Phillies won three of four.

Here now are four things to know heading into the London Series, plus a prediction because why not?

1. This is MLB’s third trip to London

As noted, this is the third time MLB will play regular season games in London. The Red Sox and Yankees played the inaugural London Series in 2019, and then, after the pandemic delayed things for a few years, MLB made its return to London with the Cardinals and Cubs in 2023. Here are the previous London Series results:

2019 London Series

2023 London Series

The 2019 London Series was arena baseball. The Red Sox and Yankees combined for 12 runs in the first inning of the first game, and five times in the two games, six-plus runs were scored in a half-inning. The two teams combined to hit .387/.453/.661 with 10 home runs in the two games. It was madness. The 2023 London Series was much more normal, for lack of a better term.

MLB and the London Stadium folks made changes to the playing surface in 2023, though the league said it was not in response to all the offense in 2019. The seating arrangement was changed and foul territory was reduced. It will be 330 feet down both lines, 387 feet in the gaps, and 392 feet to center field. The 16-foot center field wall slopes down to eight feet.

Two Mets players have prior London Series experience: J.D. Martinez and Adam Ottavino. Martinez went 6 for 9 with two doubles and a home run in the two games as a member of the Red Sox in 2019. Ottavino, then with the Yankees, allowed two hits and a walk in 1/2 scoreless innings in two appearances in 2019. No Phillies player has played in a London Series previously. 

2. Each team gets an extra player

The Mets and Phillies will have a 27-man active roster in London, so they get an extra player. They are still limited to 13 pitchers, however, so the extra player must be a position player. The two teams will bring a three-man taxi squad for the London Series as well. It would be rather difficult to call someone up between games in the event of injury, you know?

The Mets are bringing third baseman Brett Baty, catcher Joe Hudson, and righty reliever Cole Sulser as their three-man taxi squad, and Baty will be their 27th man. Catcher Rafael Marchán, first baseman Darick Hall, and righty Nick Nelson will be Philadelphia’s taxi squad, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.

3. Suárez is coming off an injury

Suárez, who has been one of the best pitchers in the league this season, exited his last start after taking a comebacker to his pitching hand. X-rays were negative, and after letting the swelling subside for a few days, Suárez was able to play catch earlier this week. Here’s the play:

“Played catch,” Thomson said when asked for a Suárez update Thursday (via the Philadelphia Inquirer). “He didn’t get up on the mound today, but he wanted to throw a touch-and-feel (bullpen session) on Friday. I believe we can line him up.”

On Friday, Thomson confirmed Suárez is good to go Saturday, and will make the start, per Newsday. Longman Spencer Turnbull, who was so good filling in while Walker was on the injured list earlier this year, will presumably be available for multiple innings in the event Suárez has any issues with his hand.

4. Who’s hot, who’s not

Baseball is a sport of hot and cold streaks. Day-to-day and week-to-week consistency is a myth. As such, several players head into this week’s series swinging the bat better than others. Here are the hottest Mets hitters over the last 15 days: 

Baty played his way back to Triple-A and Vientos has seized the opportunity. He’s taken over at third base and been great since being recalled on May 15. Pete Alonso (.250/.321/.521) and Martinez (.260/.327/.520) have provided plenty of power the last 15 days. Offense has not really been an issue for the Mets. It’s the bullpen. They get leads, then the bullpen blows them late.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jeff McNeil is hitting .156/.206/.188 over the last 15 days and .227/.296/.320 on the season. He has begun to lose playing time to Jose Iglesias, who is 7 for 18 (.389) since being called up earlier this week. Iglesias has started the last three games at second base and will likely make it four straight starts against the lefty Suárez on Saturday.

Here now are three Phillies hitters who have performed well over the last 15 days:

The on-base percentages for Castellanos and Sosa aren’t good but they have been hitting for power. Castellanos is kinda sorta maybe getting on track after a terrible start to 2024. Sosa has been surprisingly productive while filling in at short for the injured Trea Turner. He’s hitting .294/.357/.539 overall. Who saw that coming? Not even the Phillies, I reckon.

Over the last 15 days Alec Bohm (.154/.185/.269), J.T. Realmuto (.189/.231/.324), and Bryson Stott (.149/.200/.170) have struggled. They’re really going through it. Realmuto has taken a beating behind the plate the last few days and that could be contributing to a down stretch in an otherwise strong season. The Phillies aren’t rolling quite as well offensively as the Mets at the moment.

5. Upcoming international events

The London Series will be the third and final regular season series played internationally this year. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres split two games in Seoul, South Korea, to open the 2024 season, and then the Houston Astros swept the Colorado Rockies in two games in Mexico City in late April. The Yankees also played two exhibition games against Diablos Rojos del Mexico of the Mexican League in Mexico City in spring training.

There are expected to be more international games in 2025, though MLB has already canceled the Paris Series because the league failed to find a promoter. It has been rumored Shota Imanaga, Seiya Suzuki, and the rest of the Cubs will open next season against Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and Dodgers in Tokyo. MLB may also return to Mexico City and Puerto Rico in 2025. The international schedule should be made official when MLB releases the 2025 schedule in July.

Prediction

The Phillies are so good and the Mets are not, and the regular season series has been lopsided to date (Philadelphia leads 3-1 with a plus-9 run differential) that it would be easy to say the Phillies will sweep the two games. I’m going to predict a split, however. I’ll say the Mets find a way to hang a loss on Suárez on Saturday before the Phillies jump on Quintana on Sunday. There is no such thing as the London Series MVP, but I’ll say Sosa goes deep twice in London and wins the hypothetical award.

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