W2W4: CC Sabathia vs. Twins

Three things to watch for from CC Sabathia today:

Fastball velocity: Sabathia averaged 92.8 mph and was even able to crank it up to 96, something he has rarely done in 2012, in his last start against the Athletics.

That was Sabathia's fifth-best average-fastball velocity this season. However, the last four times he was able to reach that average speed, it suffered in his next start, dropping by an average of 1.4 mph.

Slider nastiness: Sabathia threw 27 sliders against the Athletics and of them, 21 were thrown out of the strike zone.

But the pitch was too tempting for Athletics hitters. They struck out seven times on his slider, chasing 10 of the 21 out of the strike zone.

How good was it? None of Sabathia's 27 sliders were put into play.

The Mauer Matchup: Over the last four seasons, Joe Mauer is 1-for-11 against Sabathia in the regular season, 2-for-17 if you include postseason meetings.

Sabathia has been able to shred Mauer with that usually nasty slider, netting five strikeouts against him with that pitch, and another was his curveball. Mauer's 11 regular-season strikeouts against Sabathia are his most against any pitcher, despite his having posted more at-bats against 11 other pitchers than he has against Sabathia.