BOSTON – Chris Sale would rather talk about the championship ring he can win instead of the almost certainly nonexistent navel ring that — he maintains with a straight face — scratched him from a start in the last round.
The Red Sox lefthander will belly up to the mound to start Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, 10 days after his last outing and nine after he was hospitalized with what the team called a "stomach illness."
Sale joked — we think — that it was from a piercing gone bad, and he kept up the ruse back in Boston. "I'm not going to spill all of my secrets," he said.
Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to start for the Dodgers, giving baseball a matchup of marquee lefties from a pair of iconic franchises. Kershaw has never pitched at Fenway Park in his 10-year career.
"It's going to be rocking. This place is going to be obviously going crazy," Sale said.
The Dodgers will line up Hyun-Jin Ryu for Game 2 and rookie Walker Buehler for Game 3, manager Dave Roberts said. Rich Hill is the most likely option for Game 4.
Ryu will duel David Price in Game 2. Boston will use Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi in Games 3 and 4.
Dodgers second baseman Brian Dozier said he would speak to teammates about Fenway, sharing the knowledge he learned over seven seasons with the Twins.
"We actually have a long meeting coming up and I'm going to touch on that with a few different things," he said. "How to play the wall that I learned even as a shortstop my rookie year. I'm going to touch on that to make sure."
• Ted Barrett will be the crew chief, his fourth World Series assignment. St. Paul native Jeff Nelson is a World Series umpire for the fourth time. Other umps include Fieldin Culbreth, Kerwin Danley, Chad Fairchild, Jim Reynolds and Tim Timmons, the Game 1 plate umpire.
• It's supposed to be around 50 degrees at first pitch Tuesday, and a little cooler for Game 2.