Sunday Insider: Central Intelligence

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 26, 2012 - 12:43 AM

Detroit's Max Scherzer bolstered his leg workouts last winter in the Phoenix area by jogging up Camelback Mountain, a 1,200-foot climb. Now, Scherzer is battling teammate Justin Verlander for the AL strikeout lead. According to FanGraphs.com, Scherzer's average fastball is 94.1 miles per hour (up from 93.1 last year) and his slider is 85.8 mph (up from 82.7).

• • •

At 15-4 with a 2.65 ERA, Chicago's Chris Sale is a Cy Young candidate, and his next two starts will be good tests -- Tuesday at Baltimore and next Sunday at Detroit, opposite Verlander.

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A strong August has lifted the Royals above the Twins and Indians, into third place. That might sound meaningless, but Kansas City has finished no better than fourth since 2003.

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Entering Saturday, the Indians were riding a nine-game losing streak and were 4-21 in their past 25 games, yet they were still three games ahead of the last-place Twins.

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