What to watch for in today's game action

Scherzer's Nationals debut among highlights as all 30 clubs take the field

For the first time this spring, all 30 Major League clubs across the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues will be in action today.

A full slate of Spring Training games provides a number of debuts for some of baseball's best players, including pitchers Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw. Meanwhile, the Angels, Astros, Brewers, Cardinals, Cubs, Marlins, Nationals, Rays, Red Sox and Twins will face big league competition for the first time since last season.

Here are four things to look for:

1. Nats' newest ace: NYM@WAS

Scherzer takes the mound for the Nationals in their Grapefruit League opener in Viera, Fla. (5:05 p.m. ET on Gameday Audio), getting the starting nod over Stephen Strasburg. Both pitchers are on the same throwing schedule, but manager Matt Williams elected to go with Scherzer, who inked a seven-year, $210 million contract in the offseason. However, Williams said his decision is not necessarily indicative of his plans for Opening Day.

"There's nothing to read into it other than [Scherzer's] going to get the ball on Thursday, and five days later he'll get it again," Williams said.

2. Dodgers' star power: LAD@CWS

Kershaw, the defending National League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner, gets the ball for his Cactus League debut in a game that will be broadcast live on MLB.TV, MLB Network and Gameday Audio at 3:05 p.m. ET.

Yasiel Puig will start for the Dodgers in right field for his first action this spring, and A.J. Ellis will be behind the plate.

3. Throwback Thursday: OAK@CHC

Barry Zito continues his comeback attempt as he takes the mound against the Cubs in Mesa, Ariz., (3:05 p.m. ET). The left-hander will be pitching in an Oakland uniform for the first time since 2006. Zito is in camp on a Minor League deal, and the A's plan to give the veteran plenty of opportunities to earn a spot in their rotation.

"I have a fresh perspective," said Zito, who last pitched in September 2013 with the Giants. "I've got my passion back, and I just want to continue to work hard and go out and enjoy competing."

Fans can listen to an exclusive, free webcast on Athletics.com.

4. Ohio Cup: CLE@CIN

Coming off the Reds' first 20-win season since Danny Jackson in 1988, Johnny Cueto heads to the mound for the first time this spring in a game that will be broadcast live on MLB.TV, MLB Network and Gameday Audio at 3:05 p.m. ET. All-Star Michael Brantley is expected to be in the lineup for the Indians.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.