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Major League Baseball is coming to Mexico City for the first time in history. Well, regular-season history, that is, as there was previously an exhibition game between the Padres and the Diablos Rojos del México. This time, though, it's the real thing. 

Alfredo Harp Helú Stadium, in Mexico's capital and largest city, will host the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants Saturday and Sunday. Both games will air nationally on MLB Network. 

Saturday's game

The Padres are the home team and the first pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. ET, which is 4:05 local time and 3:05 in both San Diego and San Francisco. 

The Padres will start Joe Musgrove with the Giants countering with Sean Manaea

Musgrove has only been back for one start since his injury to start the season and he allowed three runs on seven hits, though he struck out six with no walks in five innings and got the win. Last season, he pitched to a 2.93 ERA in 181 innings and made his first All-Star team. 

Manaea was traded by the A's to the Padres before last season and he had a rough year, posting a 4.96 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Through 16 1/3 innings in 2023, he has a 6.61 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. 

Sunday's game

Again, the Padres are the home team. This one is set for 4:05 p.m. ET. 

Alex Cobb gets the ball for the Giants while Yu Darvish is scheduled for the Padres. 

Through four starts, Darvish has a 3.00 ERA and 1.13 WHIP with 25 strikeouts in 24 innings. 

Cobb has made five starts, including one of the very few shutouts we've seen so far in the majors this season. Overall he has a 1.91 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 26 strikeouts against four walks in 28 1/3 innings. 

Here are some more things to know about this series. 

1. Padres looking to get hot

The Padres headed into the season with sky-high expectations and got off to a disappointing start. Given that All-Star Fernando Tatis Jr. was suspended and ace Musgrove was injured -- especially with Juan Soto and Manny Machado starting slow with the bats -- this isn't all too surprising. 

Still, we're now four weeks into a season in which the Padres entered with World Series expectations and they are a game under .500. They haven't been more than two games over all season and that was when they were 7-5. They are 6-9 since then and have only won two series all season. 

A two-game sweep against their intra-division rivals sure could help. 

2. Giants showing signs of life

Through last Friday, the Giants played like one of the worst teams in baseball, getting off to a 6-13 start. They have since gotten very hot and it has come against two teams that were expected playoff teams heading into the season in the Mets and Cardinals. The Giants have won five of their last six to climb to within three games of .500 at 11-14. 

Before Thursday's loss, the offense had come alive and there's a good opportunity to build on that in this ballpark. 

3. Hitter's paradise?

We in the baseball world have grown accustomed to talking about the thin air of Coors Field and, in trickling down to minor-league teams, we're very aware that the ball tends to fly in higher-elevation ballparks. 

Mexico City is roughly 7,200 feet above sea level. Denver is just about a mile high (hence the moniker), so this ballpark is nearly 2,000 feet higher than Coors. 

Back in 2017, The Ringer spoke with baseball physics experts on playing in Mexico City and one part gave us this: 

A "standard long fly ball" with a 103 mph exit speed and a 27.5 degree launch angle would travel 398 feet at sea level. At Coors, it would fly 427 feet. And in Mexico City, it would cover 438 feet.  

Coors has attempted to allow for this by having deep outfield dimensions, creating a spacious outfield, and a lot of the big offense there comes from an elevated (no pun intended!) average on balls in play. 

Just for comparison's sake, Coors Field is 347 feet down the left-field line, 390 in the left-field power alley, 415 to center, 375 to the right-field power alley and 350 down the right-field line (with a tall wall in right field as well). Estadio Alfredo Harp Helú is 325 down both lines and 400 to center. 

In the one exhibition game played there by an MLB team, the Padres scored 11 runs. 

4. Fifth series in Mexico

While this is the first series in Mexico City, MLB has previously staged the following regular-season series in Monterrey: 

  • Aug. 16-18, 1996, Padres vs. Mets
  • May 4-6, 2018, Padres vs. Dodgers
  • April 13-14, 2019, Reds vs. Cardinals
  • May 4-5, 2019, Astros vs. Angels