Major League Baseball series to watch, team-by-team notes, transactions, standings.
TWINS AT ROYALS ( Sept. 7- 10)
Two American League Central rivals with hopes of reaching the wild- card game meet for the second consecutive weekend, this time for a four- game series at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals took two of three from the Twins last weekend at Minneapolis as left fielder Melky
Cabrera went 6- for- 11 (. 545) with three extra- base hits. However, Minnesota leads the season series 9- 6. That is quite a turnaround from the previous four seasons, when the Royals won 53 of 76 games between the teams.
RAYS AT RED SOX ( Sept. 8- 10)
The Rays have played better this season than most probably expected. And while they are still holding onto postseason hopes, perhaps making things difficult for the division leader might be a satisfying byproduct. The Red Sox hold slim advantages in the season series ( 7- 6) and at Fenway Park ( 4- 3), while the Rays have outscored Boston by one run overall ( 53- 52). Of their last 22 games, 15 have been decided by one run ( 10) or two ( five). Mookie Betts is hitting .291 against the Rays this season, and Corey Dickerson is batting .310 against Boston.
BREWERS AT CUBS ( Sept. 8- 10)
The National League Centralleading Cubs will try to put more distance between them and the second- place Brewers in a threegame series at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are 7- 5 against the Brewers this year and 43- 26 in the last four seasons. Third baseman Kris Bry
ant has led the way this season, hitting .383 with four doubles, three home runs and three stolen bases, while right- hander Jake Arrieta has won both starts vs. Milwaukee while posting a 2.08 ERA. Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is hitting .324 against the Cubs with two doubles and three homers.
MARINERS AT RANGERS ( Sept. 11- 14)
One reason the Mariners have stayed alive in the wild- card race is because they have won eight of 12 games against the Rangers. Seattle started the season by losing eight of its first 10 games but then was revived when it swept the visiting Rangers, as Nelson Cruz provided a walk- off single in the finale. It’s possible injured starters James
Paxton and Felix Hernandez will be back for the Mariners.
ROCKIES AT DIAMONDBACKS ( Sept. 11- 14)
For these wild- card contenders, all four games are a “double- payout” opportunity. The Diamondbacks have played well of late, including a weekend sweep at Colorado, and are in position to earn the first of the two wild cards — which would allow them to line up ace Zack
Greinke. Led by Paul Goldschmidt ( four home runs) and A. J.
Pollock (. 552 slugging percentage), they have averaged 5.3 runs per game against the Rockies while going 9- 6. Rockies slugger Mark
Reynolds has five home runs in 48 at- bats against Arizona but is hitting only .188.
MARLINS AT PHILLIES ( Sept. 12- 14)
The two biggest home run stories in August were the Marlins’
Giancarlo Stanton, who became the first player in four seasons to hit 50 home runs in a season, and the Phillies’ Rhys
Hoskins, who became the first player to hit 11 home runs in his first 18 major league games. Now they meet for three days in the ballpark that has been the friendliest to home runs in the major leagues this season.