What to watch for in today's game action

What to watch for in today's game action

There are only so many pitchers who can be called an ace, and two will be locked on a collision course tonight. The Mets and Nationals will provide a true marquee matchup at 7:10 p.m. ET that features hard-throwing right-handers Matt Harvey and Max Scherzer, two of the National League's most dominant arms.

Harvey has won all four of his starts this season while logging a 3.04 ERA, and he's shown no ill effects from the elbow operation that caused him to miss all of 2014. Harvey has more strikeouts (31) than baserunners allowed via hit (22) and walk (3) through his first four outings.

Scherzer, meanwhile, has pitched to a 1.26 ERA and has a 1-2 record to show for his first four outings. He has completed seven innings three times, and he's struck out 29 batters while issuing just four walks. Scherzer, in fact, didn't walk anybody in either of his last two starts.

Here are a few other matchups and games to look forward to today.

True rivalry -- NYY @ BOS, 7:10 p.m. ET
The top of the American League East is shaping up to be an extremely tight race, and the Yankees and Red Sox are right in the thick of it. Either Boston or New York has won the division in three of the last four years, but both missed the playoffs last season and are thirsting for a return to glory.

CC Sabathia will get the ball for the Yankees in the series opener, and he'll be matched against Justin Masterson. Sabathia has a 5.96 ERA through his first four starts and is working through the longest sustained losing streak -- six starts -- of his career. The lefty hasn't won since April 2014.

Masterson is 2-0 with a 5.16 ERA in his return to the Red Sox, but he hasn't been lasting deep into his starts. The righty has completed six innings in just two of his first four outings this season.

Southpaw buzz saw, OAK @ TEX, 8:05 p.m. ET
If you can figure out how to hit Scott Kazmir, there are several teams that would love your advice. Kazmir sports an incredible 0.99 ERA through four starts, and he's given up just 15 hits in 27 1/3 innings. Kazmir, who has 30 strikeouts, held the Rangers to one hit in seven innings in his season debut.

The Rangers will counter with Colby Lewis, who has gone winless with a 4.22 ERA in his last two outings while Texas scored just two runs. Lewis beat the A's in his season debut, and he's notched a 7-4 record and a 3.10 ERA in 17 starts against them over the last six years.

The Rangers haven't won a series this season, and Oakland has won 13 of its last 20 road games against Texas. Texas has gone 2-6 this season when facing a left-handed pitcher.

Shuffling the Cards -- PIT @ STL, 8:15 p.m. ET
The Cardinals have leapt out to the front of the pack in a contentious NL Central, and part of their fast start has been an 8-2 record at home. The Pirates are 6-6 on the road, and they'll send veteran right-hander A.J. Burnett to the mound to face Lance Lynn.

Burnett is 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA this season, and he's pitched into the sixth inning in all four of his starts. He allowed five hits and just one run over seven innings in his last start.

Lynn is coming off a difficult start that saw him allow six earned runs against Milwaukee. He had allowed a total of three earned runs over his first three starts. Lynn's starts -- and that of all his teammates -- take on more importance in the wake of Adam Wainwright's season-ending injury.

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