The first month of the 2017 MLB season is in the books, and while April tends to be somewhat of an adjustment period for many teams, how they perform in May can set the tone for the rest of the season — good or bad.
As we flip the calendar to May, we're taking a look at some of the most important upcoming series of this month.
The last meeting between these teams had no shortage of drama — bean ball, trash talk, ejections and a suspension — and many will tune in to see if the bad blood spills into this series. If it does, it could make for an interesting season-long feud.
Diamondbacks at Nationals, May 2-4
The Nationals enter May as the best team in baseball with a record of 17-8 and surprisingly, the Diamondbacks aren't too far behind them at 16-11.
These are the top two run-producing teams in the majors (Washington is No. 1 with 170 runs, Arizona is No. 2 with 141), which should make this an entertaining three-game set at Nationals Park.
Largely considered the doormats of the NL West, the Diamondbacks haven't had a winning season since 2011. But the new regime, which includes manager Torey Lovullo, has breathed new life into the organization and has seemingly turned things around.
This series will be a huge test for the Diamondbacks, who are 12-5 at home and 4-6 in road games. They'll look to prove they can hang with the best in the league and win outside of Chase Field.
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Astros at Angels, May 5-7
These two teams enter May atop the AL West, with the Astros in first at 16-9 and the Angels not far behind them at 14-13. The rest of the teams in the division all have identical records to start the month, so both the Astros and Angels will have a chance to separate themselves from the rest of the pack with a series sweep.
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Diamondbacks at Rockies, May 5-7
Both long-time cellar dwellers of the NL West, the Rockies and Diamondbacks have shaken things up early on this season. Each team heads into May with 16 wins, although Arizona trails Colorado in the standings by a half-game.
While it's only the second of many meetings between these two teams, this series could set the tone for what we expect to be an exciting division race down to the final days of the season.
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Astros at Yankees, May 11-14
Owners of the two best American League records (along with the Orioles), the Astros and Yankees will face off for the first time this season in a "test of the best."
Houston's solid pitching squaring off against New York's hot, young hitters should produce a must-watch series for any baseball fan. We could be getting an early glimpse of a potential postseason matchup.
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Twins at Indians, May 12-14
Cleveland is king of the AL Central, but the up-and-coming Twins are trying to throw a wrench in things. This series could be a big turning point for Minnesota, which is trying to prove itself as a legitimate contender. What better way to do that than to beat up on the reigning AL champs?
Cubs at Dodgers, May 26-28
It's the second time the NL rivals will meet this season since the Cubs eliminated the Dodgers in the NLCS last year.
Things have a tendency to get chippy between these two teams thanks to their budding postseason rivalry. This series is must-see TV and shouldn't disappoint. The promise of some classic batter-vs.-pitcher matchups is enough to make baseball fans salivate.