SF Giants set to play division foes in neutral site in 2023

San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

The SF Giants and San Diego will face off against each other 13 times in 2023. However, two of those games will take place in Mexico City at the end of April. This will be the first time that the Giants play in Mexico in an international series.

SF Giants set to play division foes in neutral site in 2023

Division rivals see each other a lot. Do you know how many times they play each other every year? It feels like at least 60 games per season, but it has only been 19 times in recent memory. However, baseball is exploring a more balanced scheduled, meaning fewer games against division opponents.

This will be swell news for San Francisco. They struggled badly against the NL West last year, going 33-43 across 76 games. They went 14-5 against the Colorado Rockies, but struggled badly against the Los Angeles Dodgers (4-15) and the Padres (6-13).

The NL West is still expected to be a tough division this year, but the ZiPS projected standings suggest that the Giants might be better than many fans think. The Dodgers watched as several key bats including Justin Turner and Trea Turner departed via free agency.

On the other hand, the Padres added star shortstop Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year, $288 million deal. He joins a lineup that will feature Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Juan Soto. Those names will not only be part of the NL All-Star team next year, but will be some of the bats that the Giants will have to face in Mexico City.

The two-game series begins on April 29 at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helú in Mexico City. The stadium was built in the last 50 years and holds approximately 20,000 fans.

According to the press release, MLB has held five regular season series in Mexico. However, those five series took place in Monterrey, which is the capital of the northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo León.

The Padres have participated in three of those series with the last one occurring in 2018. There is an element of monotony that tends to take place throughout the course of a 162-game season. Teams play 81 games at home and 81 games on the road with many of those games coming against division opponents. That said, a change of venue shakes up the routine and will be a cool experience for baseball fans.