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Astros, Rockies Set to Square Off In Second MLB Mexico City Series

 Leif Skodnick  |    Apr 26th, 2024 8:39am EDT

A general view of Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu Stadium in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images)

Major League Baseball returns to North America’s largest metropolis this weekend when the Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies play a pair of games in Mexico City on Saturday and Sunday.

Last season, the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres met in the inaugural Mexico City Series at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu, the home of the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol’s Diablos Rojos del Mexico, where fans saw a 16-11 Padres win on Saturday and a 6-4 Padres win on Sunday.

And while this isn’t Major League Baseball’s first foray into the capital of Mexico – it isn’t even the first time an MLB club has played in Mexico City this year, as the New York Yankees played a pair of exhibition games against the Diablos Rojos in March – the pair of regular season games will count in the standings.

Last season, the first game of the Mexico City Series between the Giants and Padres was a slugfest, partly because the game supply of baseballs weren’t adequately prepared in a humidor, it was later revealed. Because of the extreme altitude in Mexico City, where the ballpark is approximately 7,300 feet above sea level, pitches spin and break less because of less air resistance. It is the same reason the ball will carry further. The in-game home run derby began in the top of the third when Brandon Crawford and Lamonte Wade each teed off for the Giants, and in total, there were 11 homers by 10 different players, with Manny Machado clubbing a pair for San Diego.

Neither the Rockies (7-19) nor the Astros (7-19) are off to a hot start this season, but a trip south of the border could help them right their respective ships.

The Rockies are coming in off a four-game series at home against San Diego and have yet to win back-to-back games in 2024, but they head south of the border on a high note. They took two of four from the Padres, including the final game of the series, by a score of 10-9 on Thursday.

Houston played a three-game set against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field last week, dropping all three games, and come to Mexico City having lost five straight and eight of their previous nine games.

Notable International Players

Venezuelan infielder Jose Altuve is once again leading the Astros offense, having already hit six homers in the young 2024 season. The diminutive Altuve is hitting .350/.412/.602 with a 1.014 OPS in 25 games this season, with 36 hits and eight RBI. Cuban DH Yordan Alvarez has five homers with a .273/.351/.655 slash line, and he (XX runs scored) and Altuve (XX runs scored) account for an outsized portion of Houston’s output, scoring XX of the club’s XX runs.

For Colorado, young shortstop Ezequiel Tovar has been a bright spot in an otherwise dim start to the year. Tovar, a native of Maracay, Venezuela, is in his third MLB season after assuming a full-time role in 2023 and is hitting .302/.352/.458 with three homers and 12 RBI this season. Veteran catcher Elias Diaz has quietly been putting up career-best numbers this year, batting .312/.357/.429 with a .786 OPS, a pair of homers, and 11 RBI.

MLB In Mexico

Mexico City’s Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu is a magnificent venue for baseball, and last year’s Mexico City Series drew fans from San Diego, San Francisco, and all over Mexico to the capital. Expect a similarly joyous atmosphere that resembles an LMB game more closely than a game in the United States, with nods to Mexican culture.

Major League Baseball first played regular season games in Mexico in 1996, when the New York Mets and San Diego Padres played a three-game set at Estadio Mobil Super in Monterrey. Twenty-two years later, the Padres returned for a three-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2018 season.

In April 2019, the St. Louis Cardinals played the Cincinnati Reds in a two-game set in Monterrey, and three weeks later, at Estadio Mobil Super, the Astros played the Los Angeles Angels.

In all, 12 MLB regular-season games have been played in Mexico, 10 at Estadio Mobil Super in Monterrey and two at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu in Mexico City. The San Diego Padres have played the most games in Mexico, playing in regular-season games and posting a 6-2 record.

Where to Watch

Game 1 – Houston Astros at Colorado Rockies – 6:05 p.m. EDT
Pitchers: Ronel Blanco (Houston) vs. Cal Quantrill (Colorado)
TV: Colorado – Rockies.TV, Houston – Space City Home Network, National Broadcast – MLBN

Game 2 – Houston Astros at Colorado Rockies – 4:05 p.m. EDT
Pitchers: Framber Valdez (Houston) vs. Austin Gomber (Colorado)
TV: Colorado – Rockies.TV, Houston – Space City Home Network, National Broadcast – ESPN


Ballpark Review: Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu, Home of the Diablos Rojos del Mexico