The seven most important series left on the MLB schedule

Twins at Indians, Sept. 26-28 

While the Indians are just waiting on the mathematics of their second-straight AL Central title to roll in, this series does not mean as much for them as it does for the Twins. Ss reference earlier, this will be the second time in the season’s final two weeks they will face off against a potential early-round postseason foe.

On the heels of their historic winning streak, the Indians now carry the best record in the AL, which would send the winner of the AL Wild Card game to Cleveland to start the postseason. If the Twins are to keep their head up in that race, however, they will need to find a way to best their chief antagonists on the road, as the Tribe has won 10 of 16 against Minnesota this year.

Astros at Red Sox, Sept. 28– Oct. 1 

Oh how the mighty have fallen. The second half of the year has not been kind to the Astros, to put it lightly. Since the All-Star break, they have actually been two games south of .500 after being 30 games north of breaking even on Aug. 8. While their incredibly hot start to the season (as well as the oft-mediocre play within their division) has never put their hold on the AL West in jeopardy, their slide has cost them control over home-field advantage in the playoffs

Enter the Boston Red Sox, who are just five games behind the Astros entering play on Wednesday with just over two weeks to go. If Houston continues to fail down the stretch and the Red Sox pick up the pace slightly, the final regular-season stop for both teams could take on some serious seeding importance — and it could be settled in a head-to-head fashion. The two clubs are currently on a trajectory to face off in the ALDS and playing for the right to have home-field advantage in the No. 2- vs. No. 3-seed series in the league in a four-game regular-season finale series at Fenway Park.

Marlins at Braves, Sept. 28 – Oct. 1 

If you stepped away for a few days, no, you have not missed anything here. Neither the Marlins or Braves have anything other than contractual obligation and whatever ticket sales are left to make to play for this year. However, the final series of the year for Miami could be the most well-watched Marlins baseball since the 2003 World Series because Giancarlo Stanton could be narrowing in on historic home run heights in the final series of the season.

Stanton is currently on pace to pop 61 homers on the year, which would draw him to a tie with Roger Maris’s former single-season standard. Yet with the increased attention and debate over the validity of what the home run record “truly” is, all eyes will follow Giancarlo’s every move as he continues to climb the charts.

If for nothing else, seeing a guy hit homers the way he does is really, really fun. Appreciate it while you can.

Yardbarker: MLB

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