These are the best games each day this week

September 3rd, 2018

The Brewers might look back on the next 10 days and remember them as the most important of the season, and isn't that the very definition of September baseball? Every Major League team would sign up for the opportunity the Brewers have in front of them: a playoff berth within reach and six games against the team leading their division. In this case, that's the Cubs.

On this Labor Day, eight National League teams are within 3 1/2 games of one of the five postseason berths. Three NL Central teams --the Cubs, Cardinals and Brewers -- would make the postseason if the season ended today.

That's where the week begins, with the Cubs and Brewers at Miller Park. Among other highlights: This is an interesting week for the Braves with three games against the AL East-leading Red Sox and four on the road against the Diamondbacks, who are third in the NL West.

The Yankees begin a West Coast trip, and the Astros and Red Sox will play at Fenway Park this weekend in what could be an AL playoff preview. With all that in mind, here's a look at what could be the best games each day this week:

Monday: Cubs at Brewers (2:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)

The Cubs have won 10 of 12 thanks in part to a rotation that has been close to dominant: 6-1, 2.43 ERA. Cole Hamels gets his seventh start for the Cubs in the midst of one of the best stretches of his career. The Cubs have won all six of his starts, and Hamels has allowed three earned runs in 39 innings. The Brewers have won four of five to get back on track thanks to an offense that has homered 12 times in that span.

Tuesday: Red Sox at Braves (7:35 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)

The Braves have been alone atop the NL East for the last three weeks while going 13-9 behind a pitching staff that has done great work. Atlanta's bullpen has been baseball's best in this stretch (2.34 ERA) with newly acquired (0.96 ERA) and Jonny Venters (1.00) leading the way. Meanwhile, the Red Sox appear to be cruising toward a third straight AL East title despite having lost eight of 14. The Red Sox only have to go 12-12 the rest of the way to break the franchise's record of 105 wins.

Wednesday: Yankees at Athletics (10:05 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)

The A's just split a four-game series with the Mariners, which counts as a major slump for a team that has gone 48-20 since June 16. With injuries to and , the A's are being forced to piece together a rotation. The Yankees begin a nine-game trip to Oakland, Seattle and Minnesota at a time when the suspense is whether and will be available for the postseason.

Thursday: Braves at D-backs (9:40 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)

The Diamondbacks have lost seven of 10 thanks to an offense that has generated just 23 runs and scored more than three runs once. Arizona lost two of three against the Dodgers this weekend thanks in part to a couple of dramatic Matt Kemp hits. Now, after two games against the Padres, Arizona has a brutal stretch of 20 games against the Astros, Cubs, Dodgers, Rockies and Braves.

Friday: Astros at Red Sox (7:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, MLB.TV)

These two teams split four games at Minute Maid Park earlier this season in a rematch of a 2017 American League Division Series. This series is a matchup of two first-place teams: a Boston team with the best home record in the Majors (48-18) and a Houston club with the best road record (47-21). Houston is No. 1 in road ERA (2.85) and second in runs scored (374). Reigning AL MVP is hitting .357 on the road, tops in baseball.

Saturday: Dodgers at Rockies (8:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)

The Dodgers have won eight of nine thanks to a pitching staff that has been nearly perfect and an offense that has hammered 15 home runs. is hitting .412 in this stretch, and closer has put together three straight scoreless appearances. When the Rockies were a half-game out of first on Sept. 1, it was the closest they'd been that late in a season since 1995.

Sunday: Yankees at Mariners (4:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)

The Mariners are attempting to plow through a tough stretch, having lost 11 of 18 thanks to a rotation that has a 5.97 ERA. Seattle is 49-22 in games decided by one or two runs and are 55-18 when scoring at least four. Seattle is also one of two clubs unbeaten (65-0) when leading after eight innings. Oakland is 67-0.