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Including a huge matchup in the NL Central and some wild-card teams fighting to stay alive ahead of the trade deadline.

By Jon Tayler
July 24, 2017

Looking for the must-watch series in baseball? Every week, we’ll highlight the five matchups you can’t miss around the league and give you the lowdown on what’s at stake as the teams square off.

Orioles vs. Rays (July 24–26)

The Orioles aren't done yet in the AL East or the wild-card race, but it's getting late early. After dropping two of three to the Astros over the weekend, Baltimore sits at 47–51 and seven games out in the division. That gap is just 3 1/2 games in the wild card, but it's hard to imagine the O's closing too much ground given their weak rotation. They'll get a chance, though, when they travel to Tampa to take on the Rays, who will have their own shot to bury Baltimore for good as the trade deadline approaches. Don't miss this clash between division rivals, including a Wednesday matinee to finish the series: Grab your tickets here.

Brewers vs. Nationals (July 25–27)

Milwaukee is struggling in the second half, with the Brewers dropping six of nine since the All-Star break to fall out of first place in the NL Central. The road won't get any easier, either, with a series against the NL East-leading Nationals to start this crucial week ahead of the trade deadline. Can Milwaukee right its ship, or will Washington put another hole in it? Make your plans now to be in attendance for this three-game set in Washington, and get your tickets here.

Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals (July 27–30)

The NL wild-card race has tightened up, but it's now or never for the Cardinals, who sit a whopping nine games out of the second spot. Is it time for St. Louis to wave the white flag on the 2017 season? This big four-game weekend series against the Diamondbacks—who lead the Rockies by a game for the first wild card—will go a long way toward determining whether or not the Cardinals will be buyers or sellers at the deadline, and you'll want to be there to find out how it goes; pick up your tickets here.

Royals vs. Red Sox (July 28–30)

The resurgent Royals aren't giving up on the season without a fight. Winners of five straight and back above .500, Kansas City is within just 1 1/2 games of the Indians for first in the AL Central and tied with the Rays for the second AL wild card. This may be the last hurrah for the 2015 World Series champions, and they'll get a crucial test of their postseason hopes when they meet the AL East-leading Red Sox at Fenway Park this weekend. Get yourself to Boston and pick up tickets for what's sure to be a terrific three-game set.

Cubs vs. Brewers (July 28–30)

First place in the NL Central will likely be on the line when the Cubs head to Milwaukee to face the Brewers. After a sluggish first half, Chicago has turned on the jets since the All-Star break, winning eight of their last nine to pull even with the slumping Brewers in the standings. Who will come out on top in the division after this weekend's matchup? No matter whose side you're on, this is one series you'll want to be at. Get your tickets here.

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