Felix Hernandez has staked his claim as one of the best pitchers of his generation.
He'll match up for the first time Wednesday against Paul Goldschmidt, who is blossoming into one of the best hitters among those same peers.
Hernandez seeks his AL-leading 13th victory for the Seattle Mariners versus Goldschmidt and the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.
One of the front-runners to win his second Cy Young Award after finishing runner-up last season, Hernandez (12-5, 2.69 ERA) ranks 13th among active pitchers with 137 wins. The 29-year-old, making his franchise-record 324th start, is at least three years younger than each of the players ahead of him.
Being in opposite leagues has kept him from facing Goldschmidt to this point, however. Goldschmidt's .934 OPS ranks sixth among active players with at least 2,000 at-bats, and he currently leads the majors with 75 RBIs and ranks second with a .347 batting average. He's also 13 for 30 (.433) during a 10-game hitting streak after going 2 for 5 in Arizona's 8-4 victory Tuesday night.
It's unclear who has the edge, though, as Hernandez has been lights out over his last five starts, going 2-1 with a 1.09 ERA. He also boasts a 6-1 record and 1.56 ERA in his last 10 interleague starts.
Hernandez is 1-0 with a 2.51 ERA in two meetings with the Diamondbacks, whom he hasn't faced since 2009.
The Mariners (46-55) could use a strong start from their ace after giving up 25 runs while losing three of four.
Meanwhile, Arizona (48-51) is looking to match its season high with a fifth straight victory and has posted a 1.70 ERA during its winning streak. Ender Inciarte homered Tuesday and is 12 for 32 (.375) over his last seven games.
Patrick Corbin (1-3, 3.68) is in danger of losing a career-high fourth straight start, though it's partially due to bad luck - he's been given three runs of support in 17 innings during the losing streak.
The left-hander was excellent despite no backing Friday against Milwaukee, yielding only a solo homer by Ryan Braun over seven innings in a 2-1 loss.
Corbin has surrendered five home runs during his skid, accounting for six of the seven runs against him, and has a home run rate of 2.1 per nine innings on the season. He allowed 0.94 home runs per nine from 2012-13 prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Seattle's .299 on-base percentage against lefties is one of the majors' lowest, though Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager have both enjoyed success facing southpaws. Cruz, who is 14 for 37 (.378) during an eight-game hitting streak and hit his fifth homer in that span Tuesday, owns a .378 batting average against left-handers, while Seager is hitting .321. Though Seager's hitting streak was snapped at seven games, he has hit safely in 16 of 18 while scoring 15 runs.
Seven of Cruz's 26 homers have come in 13 interleague games.
Arizona catcher Welington Castillo was left out of the lineup after taking a pitch on the elbow Monday for the second time in three games. It's uncertain if he'll play Wednesday.
The Diamondbacks have averaged 8.4 runs while taking four of the last five meetings.