If you couldn't get enough of the 2016 World Series, this is your week. While it may not be the exact same dynamic, it's going to make for some must-watch television for baseball fans.If you like history, there could be be a significant milestone.Finally, if you've got those Shohei Ohtani
If you couldn't get enough of the 2016 World Series, this is your week. While it may not be the exact same dynamic, it's going to make for some must-watch television for baseball fans.
If you like history, there could be be a significant milestone.
Finally, if you've got those Shohei Ohtani mound appearances circled on your calendar, you'll want to catch the action Tuesday at Minute Maid Park.
Overall, it'll be a week when a little more of the story of 2018 unfolds, a season that so far features surprise contenders making some of the division races way more interesting than they were projected to be.
Let's look at some of the week's best games day by day:
MONDAY: Nationals at Giants (10:15 p.m. ET, MLB Network, MLB.TV)
This one features two of the most interesting teams in the game, both hit hard by injuries, both still attempting to hit their stride. This first month has been a showcase for Bryce Harper, who has never been better. The Giants have two of their three injured starting pitchers, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, back, and they will now find out what kind of run they're capable of making.
TUESDAY: Angels at Astros (8:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
Ohtani's fourth start on the mound will come against one of baseball's deepest and best lineups. He lasted just two innings because of a blister on his right middle finger in his start last Tuesday vs. the Red Sox. He'll be opposed by one of the Astros' aces, in this case Charlie Morton, the No. 5 starter with a 0.72 ERA. As Jose Pujols closes in on joining the 3,000-hit club, Minute Maid Park, his favorite visiting park, would be an appropriate place to make history. In 133 games in Houston, Pujols has 30 homers and a .275 average.
WEDNESDAY: Cubs at Indians (7:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
It may not have the same feel as the 2016 Fall Classic, when these two clubs delivered one of the great postseason series ever played. Eighteen months later, both teams appear to be headed back toward the postseason, and if nothing else, this two-game set should be a good litmus test for both.
THURSDAY: Mets at Cardinals (1:15 p.m. ET, MLB.TV) and Red Sox at Blue Jays (7:07 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
Why settle for one? Here's a day-night doubleheader. The Mets opened the season by winning two of three from the Cardinals at Citi Field as part of an 11-1 start. The Cards have won eight of nine since a slow start to make this a fascinating matchup. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays will attempt to slow down baseball's hottest team.
FRIDAY: Braves at Phillies (7:05 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
Two young teams that are changing the balance of power in the National League East, if not the entire NL, go at it in Philadelphia. Both these teams play with energy and aggressiveness that is absolutely captivating to watch. Both have a chance to get better as the young players get more comfortable.
SATURDAY: Dodgers at Giants (DH) (4:05 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
That both these teams begin the week still trying to get above .500 only makes a series that's always entertaining even better. There'll be some urgency to things, and with the Giants' rotation almost whole again, this is their chance to make a statement about where they fit into the NL West race. The Dodgers are a long way from being whole again, and they no longer seem like the NL West slam dunk they appeared to be on Opening Day.
SUNDAY: Yankees at Angels (8:07 p.m. ET, ESPN)
This will be a showcase for baseball's newest generation, from Aaron Judge, Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres for the Yankees to Ohtani for the Angels. Both these teams appear to be good enough to make the postseason, but there's still plenty of season to go.
Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.