How MLB’s Venture into Mexico can bring new opportunities

2235

Baseball has long been one of the biggest sports in North America. There only REALLY being the Japanese outside of America that put any real emphasis on playing the sport. But baseball has seen a rise in popularity globally as a spectator sport. But one place where Baseball has always been a popular sport for viewers is Mexico. Mexico is a nation of sports lovers, the most popular sport in Mexico is of course Football, but each region of Mexico has its own most viewed sport. For example, baseball is the most viewed sport in the North West and the South East of the country.

But, much like the NFL’s move into the United Kingdom, where the sport has seen growth to the point where they now play MULTIPLE games across the point in Wembley and the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. MLB is now taking the same approach as they look to branch out into playing regular season games in Mexico. The first game the Mexican fans have to look forward to will be a two game series on the 29th and 30th of April in 2023 as the San Diego Padres take on the San Francisco Giants in Mexico City.

There’s no denying that it’s a huge opportunity for Mexico and Mexican fans. It will help local businesses dramatically, it’ll help bring more local eyes to the sport and with a bit of luck will help grow interest in the sport in Mexico in general, making the higher-ups in MLB seek to maybe bring MORE games to Mexico. Maybe they could start with playing a FEW pre season friendlies there next season to gauge TRUE interest, before delving into more and more regular season games.

The only thing is, are these the teams the Mexican fans would be really want to watch? Of course, if you’re a big enough baseball fan, you’ll likely watch whatever you can get, especially if you’ve never had the luxury of attending an MLB game. According to a poll done using the information on the MLB At Bat app, and using the information on users phones and tablets IN MEXICO based on favorite teams chosen. However, these teams ARE actually quite popular in Mexico. The Giants are the 6th most popular team and the Padres are the 8th most popular team among Mexican fans.

The top 10 most popular teams are as follows;

  1. New York Yankees
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. Boston Red Socks
  4. Chicago Cubs
  5. Houston Astros
  6. San Francisco Giants
  7. Toronto Blue Jays
  8. San Diego Padres
  9. New York Mets
  10. Los Angeles Angels

There are a couple of standout teams there, of course the Yankees will be near the top, they’re arguably THE team everybody thinks of when they think about baseball in general, not only that but they’re a pretty “brand” when it comes to clothing, everyone and their grandma has probably owned an NY branded hat in their lifetime. The next standout one for me is the Toronto Blue Jays, specifically because they’re a Canadian-based team.

The Padres/Giants 2-game series will be held in Mexico City on April 29th & 30th. Source: MLB.Com

You really couldn’t pick a team further away if you tried! But when you look into it, they have had a host of Mexican players in the ranks through the years. Players like Loudres Gurriel Jr. Roberto OSuna, Alejandro Kirk, José Bautista and more. Not only that, their best player now, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. While not Mexican himself, is from their neck of the woods. He is the son of Hall of Famer and Nizao, Dominican Republic born Vladimir Guerrero Sr. so it’s understandable they would have a bit of a soft spot for a team like that.

The Chicago Cubs are an interesting one, Latino culture in Chicago helped bring a lot of eyes on the Cubs, not to mention they are another team that over the years have had PLENTY of Latin American players, big names from Cuba, players from Venezuela and even from the Dominican Republic. It certainly helps when you see players from your area represented at the highest level.

Speaking of the Padres, the experts recently found them to be pretty solid underdogs as they took on the Phillies in a bid to make it to the world series. The Padres were +115 ($100 returns $115) and the Phillies were -140 ($140 bet wins $100) and they were absolutely spot on as the Phillies went on to win the series 4-1, sealing their ticket to the main event in all of Baseball, the prize everybody wants to win.

But, what do the same experts think for the next series? Well, checking Caesars sportsbook Illinois odds for the MLB, the Phillies are +145 underdogs to take game one, $100 returning $245, but the Astros are -165 favourites, that $100 stake returning $160.60, oddly specific I guess. The Astros have kind of been on fire this season and are rightly so favorites going into the start of this series.

What about when it comes to taking home the gold, it actually only gets worse for the Phillies, most sportsbooks have them somewhere around +145-185, with most places landing smack bang in the middle of that at +165, meaning you’ll get $265 back from $100, but the Astros are even heavier favorites, sitting mostly at -185, that same $100 will return you $154.05, it really doesn’t look great for the Phillies does it? But stranger things have happened in sports, there is no reason they can’t go on to win it all!

While not Mexican, Vladimir Guerrero Jrs Latin American heritage has certainly drawn eyes to the Blue Jays from that part of the world. Source: Sports Illustrated

SO, baseball fans. Are you happy with the idea of branching out and playing more games outside of the usual stadiums in the MLB? Are there any other places in Mexico you would like to see the MLB visit? What about places outside of America, while the UK probably wouldn’t appreciate MLB visiting their lands since they prefer Cricket to Baseball. But, given the massive audience the sport has in Asia, specifically Japan, would you like to see MLB teams travel over to Japan and maybe play a series or 2 over there?

What about an intercontinental game? Football has the Champions League in Europe, where teams from all over Europe compete to see who is the best in the continent and then the Club World Cup, in which the winners of every association’s continental tournament meet to play each other to see who is the best. What about a World Series Winner Vs the winner of the Nippon Professional Baseball league winner? That could be an interesting game and would allow more people to experience the high skill ceiling that the MLB has to offer.

Mexico Daily Post