In Major League Baseball, spring training is split evenly with 15 teams holding their training camps in Florida participating in what’s known as the Grapefruit League, while the other 15 teams prepare for the season in Arizona playing games in the Cactus League.
It’s pretty rare that the two exhibition leagues intermingle and play games against one another, but with the Boston Red Sox opening their regular season with an away series against the Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago Cubs doing the same on the road against the Miami Marlins, the two clubs decided to play their final spring training matches at jetBlue Park, the spring home of the Red Sox.
The first game will be tonight at 6:05pm, while the second game is tomorrow at 1:05pm. Obviously, tickets both games were sold out long ago.
In case you’re curious, the two teams will be splitting the gate money for tonight’s match according to an article in the News-Press. So the Red Sox have made it worthwhile for the Cubs to make a short stop (haha) in Fort Myers. But more than that, it’s an awesome thing to do for both teams’ fans – not to mention the local economy as plenty of Chicago fans will spend a few nights here ahead of making the trip over to Miami for their season opener.
It’s actually not the first time the Cubs have played in Lee County. When Chicago began their 1997 regular season in Miami, they played one game against the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium.
Heading in to tonight’s action, Boston is atop the Grapefruit League standings with a 20-9 record, while the Cubs are 19-12 which is good for third in the Cactus League.
Many baseball experts believe both teams will have strong seasons. So much so, that it’s entirely possible that a preview of the 2018 World Series will be taking place in Gateway tonight and tomorrow.
For those who aren’t lucky enough to have scored tickets to the games, tonight’s contest will be broadcast on the MLB Network on tape delay beginning at 7:00pm, or you can watch it live if you somehow get NESN. Tomorrow’s match-up will be broadcast live on ESPN.