It’s an odd weekend for the MLB.
As the dog-days of summer slowly come to a close, and exciting September baseball approaches, fans of baseball, young and old, are looking to put their feet up after a tough week in the workplace or at school. Fans of teams that are out of it are hopeful that the first glimpse of September call-ups are good ones. Fans of teams that are in the postseason race are praying that their club can stay in it, and not pull a 2011 Boston Red Sox scenario.
But it’s not September yet. It’s the last weekend in August. The call ups haven’t gotten the call yet and contending teams aren’t in a full push for October yet. With people wanting to kick back and watch some good-ol’ weekend baseball before football dominates the fall schedule, here are the must-watch series.
Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins
The Astros are a pretty sure bet to be in the postseason, but it’s the Twins who will be tested in this one.
The Twins are 0.5 games back of the second AL Wild Card spot, and of late have been in hot pursuit. Prior to Thursday night’s loss in Tampa Bay, they had won six straight games and gained some of the ground they had lost. The Astros will undoubtedly give them a huge test and for the Twins, this could be their biggest series so far.
The Astros are also a great team to watch right now. This could even be a potential playoff series as well.
Los Angeles Angels at Cleveland Indians
The Angels’ disappointing trade deadline has amounted to almost a sure loss to the Astros for first place, and even a possible loss to the Texas Rangers, and other teams, for a playoff spot.
The Indians are out at this point, and will be trying to ruin the playoff chances of other teams, and the Angels are the perfect team to do it to. The Halos are vulnerable right now and aren’t on any type of streak. They’re also going to be in Cleveland at Progressive Field, a place where they haven’t played well in the past.
It’s a make-or-break series for the Angels.
Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers
The Orioles are on the outside looking in at the wild card. The Rangers currently occupy the second AL Wild Card spot.
This is probably the most crucial series this weekend.
The Orioles are only 2.5 games back of the Rangers for first, and originally were in the same spot the Rangers are just a week or two ago. The pitching matchups aren’t “must-see”, at least for Saturday and Sunday, but the results are.
If the Rangers lose this series, their wild card spot could suddenly be in the possession of the beak of an Oriole.
Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
This is another possible postseason matchup.
The Cubs currently have the second NL wild card spot while being better than the Dodgers who occupy first place in the NL West which gets them past the wild card, at least for now.
This will be a legitimate test for the Cubs. They’ll be in LA, playing in a possible postseason-like atmosphere. The Dodgers are in a footrace with the San Francisco Giants for the NL West’s only postseason spot in October.
Both teams have a lot on the line in this one, which should make for some early rivalry-making, as both teams should be good for at least the next few years.