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Rockies Fans Going International

The Opening Day and first two games of the Major League Baseball World Tour 2024 are now in the books between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Colorado Rockies are on deck for their international face-off in Mexico City against the Houston Astros on April 27th and 28th of this year. Fans in Denver might be hard pressed to travel to Mexico to see the match-up, but that does not mean these games are any less part of the regular season.

Of the four international games scheduled for the 2024 season, the Rockies versus Astros games stand to be the most exciting for fans due to the hitter’s paradise they will be playing in. First off, the Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu sits 7,349 feet above sea level. That is 2,000 feet higher than Coors Field and that is just the first of several exciting elements for the Rockies to look forward to because the ball tends to soar at higher elevations, which was a major factor in the 15 homeruns tallied during the 2-game series between the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres in 2023. In fact, the second longest homerun of the 2023 season, 482-footer, was hit by Giants’ Brandon Crawford at that ballpark.

The dimensions of a ballpark are always a factor. The Rockies home is famously a hitter’s haven with the thinner air of elevation, but also Left field at 347 feet, Center field at 390 feet, and Right field at 415 feet. Compare that to The Juice Box, which is the Astros home at Minute Maid Park, that has a Left field at 315 feet, Center field at 435 feet, and a Right field at 326 feet. Now, compare both of those to the symmetrical Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu, which is 332 feet in both left field and Right field and 410 feet at Center field.  Pitching to contact in the Mexican capital’s ballpark is a dangerous venture that pitchers on both the Rockies and Astros are going to need to deal with.

The numbers for hitters like Charlie Blackmon are sure to benefit from this outing because even slower pitches tend to still be very reactive coming off the bat then sailing into the glorious yonder. In 2024 Spring Training, Rockies fans have seen plenty of high scoring games, but many of those high scores were the result of a single inning in which the Rockies seem to collapse by giving up four and six runs.  The circumstances of this Mexico series could be devastating if Colorado finds themselves falling prey to the psychology of one of these types of streak innings.

The Boston Red Sox played the Tampa Bay Rays back on March 9th and 10th in the Dominican Republic as part of their Spring Training schedule. Some may not realize that the Padres versus Dodges series this week was the 2024 Season Opener played in Korea. The New York Mets will face the Philadelphia Phillies this year in London in June. However, of all the MLB World Tour games this year, the Rockies and the Astros will suffer the least jet lag since Mexico City is in the Central Standard Time Zone, so they should all be well rested for the slugfest.


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