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Scherzer vs. Martinez in battle of aces on Sunday Night Baseball

Max Scherzer is on pace to have the lowest batting average allowed by any pitcher who qualified for the ERA title. AP Photo/Nick Wass

Two potential All-Stars meet on Sunday Night Baseball when Max Scherzer faces Carlos Martinez as the Washington Nationals visit the St. Louis Cardinals.

Scherzer has allowed a .164 batting average this season, on pace to be the lowest by any pitcher who qualified for the ERA title. The current record belongs to Pedro Martínez, who allowed a .167 batting average in 2000.

Since joining the Nationals in 2015, Scherzer has taken a no-hitter through the fifth inning 11 times (out of 83 starts). That 13.3 percentage is by far the best in the majors. Next-closest is Corey Kluber at 7.9 percent (six of 76).

Since 2015, Scherzer has made nine starts in which he has pitched at least seven scoreless innings and struck out 10, the most in the majors. Clayton Kershaw is second with eight such starts.

Scherzer’s slider has been one of the best swing-and-miss pitches in baseball. Since 2015, hitters have missed on 48.1 percent of their swings against Scherzer’s slider, highest among pitchers with at least 50 starts.

That slider has been the most valuable pitch among all pitches thrown by qualified starters this season, according to FanGraphs’ pitch values.

Scherzer has a 50 percent miss rate on the pitch this season, the second highest of any qualified starter. Only Carlos Carrasco (53 percent) has a higher miss rate on the slider -- but Carrasco has thrown 264 sliders, and Scherzer has thrown 489.

The Cardinals' Martínez has allowed a .353 slugging percentage with his fastball this season, lowest in the National League.

Martínez has permitted a .199 batting average this season, on pace to be the third best in a season in Cardinals history, behind Bob Gibson in 1968 and Jose DeLeon in 1989.

After a rough April, Martínez has turned things around. He was 0-3 that month with a 4.71 ERA. Since then, he has a 2.20 ERA, which is third best in the majors in that span.