Key things to watch for in today's games

Key things to watch for in today's games

The final day of play before the All-Star break should have its fair share of drama and intrigue. In Boston, the Yankees and Red Sox play the final game of a three-game set at 1:35 p.m. ET.

The American League East has proven to be the tightest division in baseball during the first half of the season. While the Yankees sit atop the division, the Red Sox have put their name back in the mix thanks to a stretch of success. Despite being in last place, they are only 5 1/2 games behind the Yankees.

New York right-hander Nathan Eovaldi should be fresh after tossing just 86 pitches in his last outing against the A's. He allowed two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision, breaking a streak of three straight wins.

Left-hander Wade Miley takes the ball for the Red Sox in the rubber match. He tossed 6 2/3 innings in his last start against the Marlins, allowing three runs on seven hits in a no-decision. Four of his last five outings have been quality starts.

Here are a few more key matchups to keep an eye on Sunday:

Sensational starters: OAK @ CLE, 1:10 p.m. ET
Expect quite the pitchers' duel when A's right-hander Sonny Gray and Indians right-hander Corey Kluber toe the rubber.

After a bout with Salmonella that forced him to miss some time, Gray battled his way through seven innings against the Yankees on Tuesday. The All-Star allowed three runs on six hits in a no-decision, moving his ERA to 2.20, which is tops in the AL.

Gray goes seven innings

Kluber allowed five hits in 6 2/3 scoreless innings during his last start against the Astros, marking his first victory in seven starts. During that winless stretch, the right-hander's strikeout totals continued to climb, averaging nearly 10 whiffs per nine innings.

Windy City showdown: CWS @ CHC, 2:20 p.m. ET
White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana and Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta take the hill in the series finale at Wrigley Field.

Quintana was a workhorse in his last start against the Blue Jays. The left-hander tossed a season-high eight innings and 114 pitches. He struck out eight and walked none, but still took a 2-1 loss. When Quintana's been on the hill, the White Sox offense has gone dormant. While he's tossed eight straight quality starts, the lefty has picked up just two wins.

Arrieta pitches 6 2/3 innings

If Arrieta can pick up a win on Sunday, it would mark his 10th of the season and match his entire win total from 2014. In the right-hander's last outing against the Cardinals, he allowed two runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings for the win.

Divisional duel: STL @ PIT, 8:05 p.m. ET
The Cardinals and Pirates will finish out their four-game set at PNC Park. With just a handful of games separating the clubs in the National League Central, each contest becomes more pivotal.

Left-hander Tim Cooney, making his fourth career start, gets the ball for St. Louis in the most significant game of his young career. Still looking for his first career win, Cooney took a no-decision against the Cubs in his last start, allowing one run on three hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Liriano's solid start

The Pirates turn to veteran left-hander Francisco Liriano, who took a no-decision in his last start against the Padres, allowing two runs on four hits in six innings. He faced St. Louis in back-to-back games in early May, allowing one run over eight innings in the first start and six runs in 6 1/3 innings in the second.

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