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What to watch for in today's games

Harvey and Sabathia face off for first time in Subway Series

Look around. There's some incredible matchups on tap this weekend, with surging teams and surging players trying to assert themselves against their opponents. The red-hot Mets have ace Matt Harvey on the mound today, and so do the Nationals in Stephen Strasburg.

Twelve of the 14 games today involve division rivalries, and one of the exceptions brings a natural Interleague rivalry. There are huge bats and streaking starting pitchers scheduled for today's games, and the next batch of highlights may well involve new teams staking a claim for first place.

Here's a few matchups and games to look forward to.

Clash of the Central: [email protected], 1:08 p.m. ET
Subbing for an ill Trevor Bauer will be Indians left-hander T.J. House in today's game against the Tigers. Detroit will counter with Alfredo Simon, who has won all three of his starts and will come into today's game with a 1.74 ERA. Simon, an All-Star last year with Cincinnati, has thrown 15 1/3 scoreless innings in his past two starts, and he's allowed just one home run this season.

Detroit is jousting with Kansas City at the top of a super-charged AL Central, and the Indians are hoping a slow start won't resign them to chasing the pack all year.

More Subway Series: [email protected], 4:05 p.m.
This one is a whopper of a pitching matchup. The Mets will send Harvey to the mound, and the Yankees will counter with former AL Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia, who is hoping to lead the Bombers to a second straight win over their crosstown rivals.

Harvey is 3-0 with a 3.50 ERA through his first three starts, and he's showing no ill effects from a season spent on the sidelines because of Tommy John surgery. Sabathia, a six-time All-Star, has struggled this season, losing all three of his starts and registering a 4.35 ERA in 20 2/3 innings.

The two teams split four games last year, but the Mets swept the Subway Series in 2013.

The Strasburg Chronicles: [email protected], 4:10 p.m.
Strasburg and the Nationals are off to a middling start this year, but they know they can take off whenever their stopper takes the mound. Strasburg, the top pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, took a turn for the better last time out, when he pitched into the eighth inning and allowed one run.

The Marlins will counter with Tom Koehler, who has pitched to a 1-2 record and a 6.75 ERA in his first three outings. Miami has won consecutive games on just two occasions this season, but it's coming off its second series win.

Strasburg has traditionally been pretty tough on the Marlins, logging a 9-5 record with a 3.44 ERA in 19 career starts against the division rival. That's his most wins and most starts against any team.

Cards in charge: [email protected], 7:10 p.m.
Adam Wainwright has been an All-Star in each of the past two seasons, and he's off to another torrid start. Wainwright, the Cardinals' ace, has pitched to a 2-1 record with a 1.71 ERA in his first three outings, and St. Louis has leapt to the forefront of a surprisingly tight NL Central.

The Brewers are still trying to find their bearings this season, and they'll send Wily Peralta to the mound. Peralta won 17 games last year, but he's 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA in three outings this season. The Brewers had an eight-game losing streak earlier in the week, but they snapped it with a win on Thursday.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for