Key things to watch for in today's games

Key things to watch for in today's games

Wednesday's day of baseball brings a bit of a rarity, with the bulk of the earliest games coming on the West Coast. But whether you're in the Pacific or Eastern time zone, you'll want to tune in to the day's action.

Here are five things to watch for:

Young stars battle in rival race: PIT @ STL, 8:15 p.m. ET
This will hardly be the last time these two teams play meaningful games against one another this season, nor the last time Gerrit Cole and Michael Wacha square off in a top-notch pitching matchup. Cole has had five quality starts in his last six outings, while Wacha hasn't allowed a run in his last 14 innings (two starts) while striking out 13 in that span.

East Coast vs. West Coast: WAS @ LAD, 10:10 p.m. ET
In a battle of two playoff hopefuls on opposite coasts, Jordan Zimmermann will lead the Nationals into Dodger Stadium against Clayton Kershaw. Zimmermann, who owns a 5.00 ERA lifetime against the Dodgers, is winless in his last five outings. Kershaw had his scoreless-innings streak snapped at 37 on Friday against Pittsburgh.

Kershaw strikes out Rodriguez

A former Giants fan returns: HOU @ SF, 3:45 p.m. ET
Scott Feldman grew up in the Bay Area as a Giants fan, and he's still searching for his first career win in San Francisco. The Astros right-hander is 0-3 with a 5.54 ERA in four career games at AT&T Park. He'll be up against fellow righty Chris Heston, who threw a two-hitter in his last start against the Astros, striking out 10 without walking a batter.

Heston's strong start

Power arms at Progressive: NYY @ CLE, 7:10 p.m. ET
Two big-time pitchers will take the mound in Cleveland, with CC Sabathia set to face the team that drafted him 17 years ago. He's 4-1 with a 2.94 ERA in seven career starts against the Indians, who will look to right-hander Danny Salazar. It's his first career start against the Yankees, and he owns a 1.53 ERA with 35 strikeouts in his last 35 1/3 innings.

Salazar's stellar start

Conley fills in: BOS @ MIA, 4:10 p.m. ET
It's a bit of a revolving door situation with the Marlins rotation, which now features left-hander Adam Conley stepping in for the injured Jose Urena (bruised left knee). The rookie Conley is making his second start, and is 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA at home. He'll be up against another rookie in Boston southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez.

Conley wins in 1st career start

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.