It's hard to say that any series is a "must-win" after only 86 games, but this might be the case for the New York Mets over their next two series.
Being down only 4.5 games in the division, the Mets are obviously within striking distance of the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals who are ahead of them heading into Friday's action. With that being said they need to make sure they stay close enough in the standings in the both the NL East and the NL Wild Card races.
In order to do that they have demonstrate the ability to win important games against their division rivals.
That starts with two important series on the road against the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals.
It is extremely important for the Mets to win at least four of these next six games to gain ground in the division and to have momentum moving forward in the second half of the season in order to make a legitimate playoff run, which is what they have lacked in the past couple of years.
What stands out most are the 2007 and 2008 September collapses, but in the past few years abhorrent months of July and August prevented the Mets from even having significant games in September.
In 2011, after going 55-51 in the first 106 games of the season and being in the middle of the playoff race, the Mets went 5-17 from July 30th to August 23rd. This includes a 1-8 record against teams in the NL East.
It's pretty safe to say that if they have a repeat performance of last year then they will have a similar fate as last year's team: playing meaningless games in September and only dreaming about the potential to play in the postseason.
You can say that these six games in the middle of July aren't that important, but these are arguably some of the most important games for this organization in quite a while.
Erick Fernandez is the creator of I Want to Thank My Hood & My Psychiatrist