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.
Cubs vs. Cardinals (Sept. 25–27)
Is the Cubs' coronation imminent? Over the weekend, Chicago took three of four from Milwaukee to end the Brewers' upset bid for an NL Central title and shrink its own magic number for a second straight division crown to two games. A win tonight over St. Louis—itself six games out of first place—would get them that much closer to that dream. The Cardinals, though, need wins to stay alive in the NL wild card race, not to mention trying to deny the Cubs the chance to celebrate at Busch Stadium. Regardless of who comes out on top, don't miss the final regular-season clash this year between these two old rivals. Get your tickets here.
Twins vs. Indians (Sept. 26–28)
Minnesota is looking good for an unlikely postseason spot, holding a 4 1/2-game lead on the Angels for the second wild card with six games to go on the season. The Twins' magic number to clinch that position is three, but they'll face a tall task in reducing it against Cleveland, which long ago locked up the AL Central but is still trying to hold off the Astros for the Junior Circuit's best record—and the home-field advantage throughout the playoffs that comes with it. Score your tickets to this terrific matchup here.
Astros vs. Red Sox (Sept. 28–Oct. 1)
With Houston already in place as the AL West winner and Boston en route to its second straight AL East title, this four-game set to finish the year for both teams could be an immediate preview of the AL Division Series. And even if it isn't, there should still be plenty of offense between these two high-octane squads, not to mention the presences of Chris Sale, Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel and more, to make this one worth your while. Grab your seats here.
Brewers vs. Cardinals (Sept. 29–Oct. 1)
One final series to decide the second NL wild card? Both Milwaukee and St. Louis are finished in the Central, but both teams are still scrapping to catch Colorado for the last playoff spot in the NL; the Brewers are two games back, and the Cardinals are 2 1/2 shy. It could come down to the very last day of the season for each team in the race for October; don't be at home if that happens.
Dodgers vs. Rockies (Sept. 29–Oct. 1)
Los Angeles' hope of breaking MLB's single-season wins record is gone, but the franchise's first 100-win season since 1974 is almost assured, and a perfect week would tie the Dodgers' all-time record of 105, set back in 1953. But the Rockies care nothing about history: They're trying to fend off the Brewers and Cardinals in the NL wild card and will likely need until the season's final weekend to secure the team's first postseason place since 2009. Can Colorado do it? Be there to find out.