Tigers stick to basics in setting rotation for World Series


The Tigers have no reason to make any changes to their postseason starting rotation. So they won’t.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that Justin Verlander will start Game 1, Doug Fister will start Game 2, Anibal Sanchez will start Game 3 and Max Scherzer will start Game 4 no matter which team — Cardinals or Giants — his club winds up facing in the 2012 World Series.

Those four registered a 0.66 ERA last round against the Yankees, allowing just two runs on 14 hits over 27 1/3 combined innings. That’s the second-best mark in a best-of-seven, behind only the 1966 Orioles.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.