The Nationals fought their way back into the MLB playoff race before the All-Star break, but their work is far from done.
Starting Friday, the Nats must navigate a daunting post-All-Star break stretch to make it to October. Here are the seven can't-miss series of the second half.
Nationals at Phillies: July 12-14
Might as well start the second half with a bang! Beyond the Bryce Harper of it all, these games have huge playoff implications: the Nats lead the Phillies by a half-game in the NL East, Washington and Philadelphia currently holding the NL's two wild-card spots. This weekend should be fun.
Nationals at Braves: July 18-21
The Nats finish up their upcoming nine-game road trip with four big games against division-leading Atlanta. The Braves lead Washington by six games, and winning this series could go a long way to helping the Nats reclaim the NL East crown. Losing it, however, could kill all hopes of winning the division.
Nationals vs. Dodgers: July 26-28
The National League's best team pays a visit to Nationals Park at the end of July. The Nats earned a split with the Dodgers back in May, and can ill afford to get swept by Los Angeles as the playoff race kicks into another gear with the July 31 trade deadline approaching.
Nationals vs. Brewers: August 16-18
Milwaukee looms just a half-game back in the wild-card standings, and with reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich still crushing baseball after baseball, expect the Brewers to be a tough team to shake off down the stretch.
Nationals at Cubs: August 23-25
With things so bunched up in the NL Central, the Nats could very well be competing with Chicago for a wild card spot. And in case you forgot: the Cubs knocked out the Nats in the 2017 NLDS. Revenge is long overdue.
Nationals vs. Braves: September 13-15
If the Nats trim the gap between themselves and Atlanta, this mid-September clash could end up deciding who wins the division. And if that's not enough juice, Anthony Rendon bobblehead night is Sept. 13!
Nationals vs. Phillies: September 23-26
Can you imagine if the Nationals knock Bryce Harper and the Phillies out of playoff contention, or vice versa? This five-game series, including a doubleheader on the 24th, should be baseball drama of the highest order if both teams are still alive.
MORE NATIONALS NEWS: