By Jon Tayler
August 21, 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.

Red Sox vs. Indians (Aug. 21–24)

A possible AL Division Series preview plays out this week in Cleveland, as the Indians host the Red Sox in a big series for both teams. Coming off a series win against the Yankees, Boston is in control of the AL East, while Cleveland holds a commanding 5 1/2-game lead in the Central. Nonetheless, this is a golden chance for either team to secure its division lead while also scouting out each's likely opponent in the ALDS. Don't miss your chance to catch this series.

Nationals vs. Astros (Aug. 22–24)

Speaking of postseason previews, Washington's trip to Houston could be a look at a future World Series matchup. The Nationals are hurting due to injuries, with stars Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer all on the disabled list, but they still offer a potent offense. They'll need those bats against the Astros, the highest-scoring team in the majors (with the Nationals at No. 2). This high-octane offensive showdown promises plenty of runs, so get your tickets now.

Rockies vs. Royals (Aug. 22–24)

A recent skid has left the Rockies barely holding onto first place in the NL wild-card race, with Colorado trying to fend off Arizona. Kansas City, meanwhile, has fallen out of the AL Central chase and lost ground in the wild card, trailing the Twins by 1 1/2 games for second place. Both teams need to get hot to keep their postseason dreams alive, so grab your seats as soon as you can to watch this one.

Mariners vs. Yankees (Aug. 25–27)

Robinson Cano returns to the Bronx as the Mariners make their annual trip to Yankee Stadium, but the former Yankees All-Star will have more than nostalgia on his mind. Seattle is still kicking in the wild-card race, one game out of the second spot, while New York has a 2 1/2-game lead on Minnesota for the right to host the one-game play-in. Either team could greatly improve its playoff odds with a series win. Take some time this weekend and treat yourself to what's sure to be a great matchup.

Rays vs. Cardinals (Aug. 25–27)

Looking all but dead in the NL Central just a few weeks ago, the Cardinals made a big charge, briefly taking over first place but recently slipping into third, 3 1/2 games behind the Cubs. They'll have a chance to make up some ground when they host the Rays, who are all but done in the AL East but are within shouting distance of the second wild card at four games back. Tampa Bay is running out of time to get in better position, though. Get your tickets to this one while you can.

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