6 series to circle in Machado's 1st season with Padres
Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Now that Manny Machado's reportedly inked a contract with the San Diego Padres, fans can start to plan their baseball viewing accordingly.

As the infielder gets set for his first full season in the National League, some games are already more intriguing than others (though it's a shame the Padres don't travel to Chicago to play the spurned White Sox this summer).

Here are the six most highly anticipated series on the Padres' calendar in the wake of signing Machado.

Home opener (vs. Giants) - March 28-31

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

The Padres faithful will get their first glimpse of their new superstar on Opening Day as San Diego hosts the division-rival San Francisco Giants. Petco Park's pitcher-friendly confines will encourage speculation about Machado's offensive viability at home, and his debut could dispel or intensify such concerns.

While Petco remained relatively stingy in terms of yielding home runs last season, two-baggers were in vogue. Only seven other parks saw doubles more frequently, per ESPN. Maybe Machado's out-of-the-park power dips but the doubles remain - that wouldn't be the end of the world.

Return to Hollywood (at Dodgers) - May 14-15

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images Sport / Getty

In his brief tenure with the Dodgers, Machado replaced injured shortstop Corey Seager for the team's futile pursuit of World Series glory. Machado was fine in 66 regular-season games in Dodger Blue (.273/.338/.487) but underwhelmed relative to expectations.

Depending on a number of early-season factors - like whether the Padres are actually good - the narrative of this series could focus on whether the Dodgers made a mistake by not trying to bring Machado back.

Familiar territory (at Yankees) - May 27-29

Adam Hunger / Getty Images Sport / Getty

With shortstop Didi Gregorius on the shelf following Tommy John surgery, it looked like there was a mutually beneficial opportunity for Machado and the New York Yankees. That was before the club signed both Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu to fill the infield void. It was later reported that New York never even presented Machado with a formal offer, so he may return to his favorite road ballpark in the AL East with vengeance on his mind.

Over his career, Machado's posted a .821 OPS with eight bombs and 10 doubles in 45 games at Yankee Stadium.

Baltimore homecoming (at Orioles) - June 25-26

Evan Habeeb / USA TODAY Sports

Machado spent nearly seven seasons as a member of the Baltimore Orioles before his midsummer trade to L.A. in 2018. The Dodgers didn't make the trip to Charm City after the deal, so this series represents his first time as a visiting player at Camden Yards.

The ballpark was always friendly to Machado's bat. Over 427 games, he slashed .296/.352/.536 with 99 home runs, 94 doubles, and 247 RBIs. That 100th homer in Baltimore may just be around the corner.

No Brotherly Love lost? (at Phillies) - Aug. 16-18

Rob Tringali / Major League Baseball / Getty

Along with the White Sox and Yankees, the Philadelphia Phillies were one of the most frequently mentioned suitors for Machado's services. Philadelphia fans - not known for being welcoming at the best of times - may not be too happy that the four-time All-Star signed elsewhere after the team rolled out the red carpet for him in December.

It'll be worse if Philly also whiffs on Bryce Harper, but even signing the outfielder for "stupid" money probably won't make the atmosphere much less hostile.

Reigniting the rivalry (at Brewers) - Sept. 16-19

Harry How / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Last fall's NLCS between the Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers was a classic with no shortage of drama, much of it surrounding Machado. One of the Dodgers' top hitters in the series, he slashed .296/.367/.444. He also raised the Brewers' ire after stepping on first baseman Jesus Aguilar's leg while running out a ground ball, having already gotten his spikes up on a slide into second earlier in the series. Eventual NL MVP Christian Yelich labeled him a "dirty player."

In Milwaukee's eyes, the bad guys won, and this series will be Machado's first time back in the city. Though the Brewers travel to San Diego in June, it may take returning to Miller Park to revive the rivalry.

6 series to circle in Machado's 1st season with Padres
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox