The first ever MLB London Series takes place this weekend as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox meet in a two-game series at the London Stadium.
MLB are bringing over two of their biggest franchises, the 27-time champions and the reigning World Series winners. The weather is going to be stunning. This could be the turning point for America’s pastime on this side of the Atlantic.
Mookie Betts – Boston Red Sox
Mookie Betts is the reigning American League MVP. He’ll be out in right field this weekend. Watch out for some brilliant defensive plays, whether it’s a running catch or a perfectly throw to get a runner out.
Betts can do everything, he’s a five-tool player. Home runs are possible, as are stolen bases, making Betts one of the best players in the league to watch.
Aaron Judge – New York Yankees
Aaron Judge stormed onto the scene as a rookie in 2017, winning Rookie of the Year and pushing Jose Altuve close for MVP.
Like Betts, Judge will be in right field. It’s hard to miss the 6’7” slugger, who has his own fan section at Yankee Stadium called ‘Judge’s Chambers’.
It’s all about the power with Judge – hopefully the London Stadium crowd gets treated to a monster homer.
Edwin Encarnacion – New York Yankees
Having recently arrived in a trade from the Seattle Mariners, Edwin Encarnacion is still getting accustomed to his new surroundings.
He’ll likely be designated hitter for the Yankees this weekend, meaning he won’t have to do any fielding. In an already powerful Yankees line-up, Encarnacion adds yet more pop – he’s one of the most consistent power hitters in Major League Baseball in recent years.
J.D. Martinez – Boston Red Sox
Another designated hitter, J.D. Martinez was an outfielder earlier in his career, but was signed by the Red Sox to fill their DH spot in the winter of 2017/18.
Martinez had a special 2018 campaign and flirted with a Triple Crown (a feat that has only been achieved once since 1967). Many saw Martinez as the difference maker, taking the Red Sox from a good team to World Series winners.
Aroldis Chapman – New York Yankees
The first (and only) pitcher on this list, Aroldis Chapman will be fun to watch, particularly for those with seats near the Yankees bullpen.
Chapman isn’t quite the dominant force he was a few years ago, but he’s still capable of touching triple digits. Hopefully the games are close enough that Aaron Boone turns to the flamethrowing left-hander.
Jackie Bradley Jr. – Boston Red Sox
Jackie Bradley Jr. isn’t as big a name as his peers on here, but the Boston Red Sox centre fielder certainly has a knack for highlights.
A magical defender, Bradley has been hitting as well as anyone in baseball in recent weeks after a slow start to the year. His glovework in centre field alongside Betts is a joy to watch, and he may well rob the Yankees of a few hits this weekend.