7 series to keep your eye on this week

April 17th, 2023

The epic Tampa Bay win streak has finally come to an end, but there’s still plenty left to pay attention to in the MLB landscape. This coming week features some high-profile matchups, including two matchups between teams that won 100-plus games last season. Here are seven series to watch during the week of April 17:

Brewers at Mariners
3 games (Monday-Wednesday)

Head to head: These two teams have not faced off since June 2019, when the Mariners took two out of three games in Milwaukee. However, they were both in the AL from 1977-97, before the 1998 realignment when Arizona and Tampa Bay joined MLB.

Storyline: Is this the Brewers’ year? Milwaukee’s 11-5 record trails only the Braves (12-4) in the NL, and the Brew Crew’s +28 run differential ranks second in the Majors, behind the Rays (+72). The Brewers have made the playoffs in four of the past five seasons, and while it’s early, this year’s team looks as good as any of them.

Watch out for: . After six years with the Marlins, the third baseman has been superb in his debut season with the Brewers. He leads the team with 14 RBIs, and he is one of three Brewers with an OPS of at least .850 (, ).

Phillies at White Sox
3 games (Tuesday-Wednesday)

Head to head: These two teams have not faced off since August 2019, when the White Sox took two out of three games in Philadelphia.

Storyline: Will either of these two teams figure it out? Both teams had reasonably high expectations entering 2023, particularly the Phillies after their run to the World Series a year ago. But they both enter this series with 6-10 records. While the expanded playoff makes things somewhat easier, both teams still have work to do to turn things around.

Watch out for: . The Phillies’ tough start has been through no fault of Marsh’s, who has broken out in his third MLB season. The 25-year-old has a line of .378/.440/.756, the last of which leads all players with at least 40 plate appearances this season.

Blue Jays at Astros
3 games (Monday-Wednesday)

Head to head: The Blue Jays went 4-2 against the Astros in 2022, with all four wins coming by one run. Toronto took two out of three in each series (one in Houston, one in Toronto).

Storyline: Will the Astros infield live up to the hype? Entering the season, the quartet of , , and was supposed to be the best infield in MLB. But Altuve fractured his thumb in the World Baseball Classic, and the other three players all have OPS values under .700, a major factor in Houston’s disappointing start.

Watch out for: . Chapman has dominated everything in sight this season, leading all qualified hitters with a 1.204 OPS. Via Statcast, his 13 barrels are also most in the big leagues.

Braves at Padres
3 games (Monday-Wednesday)

Head to head: These teams have already faced off this season, as the Padres took three of four games in Atlanta earlier in April. The Padres went 4-3 against the Braves in 2022.

Storyline: Battle of NL titans. Though these teams have not met in the postseason since the 1990s, they have each been mainstays in the playoffs in recent years, with San Diego reaching two of the last three postseasons and Atlanta reaching each of the last five. Unsurprisingly, both are among the favorites to win the NL this season.

Watch out for: . Though it’s still early, Bogaerts has lived up to his monster 11-year contract so far. He leads the Padres in a litany of offensive stats, including but not limited to batting average (.354), on-base percentage (.427) and slugging percentage (.585).

Mets at Dodgers
3 games (Monday-Wednesday)

Head to head: The Mets went 4-3 against the Dodgers in 2022. They split a four-game series in Los Angeles, and the Mets took two out of three in New York.

Storyline: Which reigning 100-win team can get back to that level? These were two of MLB’s four 100-win teams last season, joining the Astros and Braves (more on them later). But whether it be through free agency (e.g. , , , ) or injury (e.g. , , ), both have lost core members from those teams, and both need to figure out how to adjust.

Watch out for: . Though he has struggled this season (0-2, 5.63 ERA), this will be the first time that the longtime Met faces off against his old team since he declined New York’s qualifying offer in free agency after the 2021 season. Syndergaard is projected to start on Wednesday.

Angels at Yankees
3 games (Tuesday-Thursday)

This high-profile series will take center stage throughout the week on MLB Network. On Tuesday, the MLB Tonight: Clubhouse Edition broadcast returns with organic analysis, reaction and storytelling from former players, including CC Sabathia, Torii Hunter, Justin Upton and Chris Young. Writer and comedian The Kid Mero will join Off Base leading up to the game to discuss Ohtani vs. Judge. MLB Network will also broadcast Wednesday's game via the Casamigos Tequila MLB Network Showcase with Matt Vasgersian, Tom Verducci and Jon Morosi on the mic.

Head to head: The Yankees went 4-2 against the Angels in 2022. The Yankees swept a three-game home series, but lost two of three in Los Angeles.

Storyline: Star power. This series will feature the top two vote-getters in the 2022 AL MVP race, with winner and runner-up . For what it’s worth, finished eighth in the voting, despite only playing 119 games. Though Ohtani is not projected to start on the mound in this series, we will still see some of the world’s best players trying to outshine one another.

Watch out for: . Raise your hand if you thought before the season that O’Hoppe (who is from New York) would be the team leader in home runs on a roster that features Trout and Ohtani. Now put your hand down if you were bold enough to lie to yourself like that. But that is the case for the rookie catcher, whose team-high four home runs have been a pleasant surprise.

Astros at Braves
3 games (Friday-Sunday)

Head to head: The Braves went 2-1 against the Astros in 2022, during a three-game series in Atlanta in August. They also faced off in the 2021 World Series, which the Braves won in six games.

Storyline: As previously mentioned, these were two of the four 100-win teams last season, joining the Dodgers and Mets. They are also two of four teams to make each of the past five postseasons, joining the Dodgers and Yankees. And, of course, they met in the World Series in 2021. By any metric, these teams have been MLB’s gold standard in recent years.

Watch out for: Acuña did not get to be part of that World Series win in 2021, having torn his ACL earlier that year. But the 25-year-old looks back in prime form this season, not only at the plate (.373/.455/.567 line) but also with a team-high seven steals.