Ryu, 31, was quite effective over 15 starts during the regular season, going 7-3 with a 1.97 ERA and an 89/15 K/BB ratio over 82 1/3 innings. The veteran lefty missed time between May 3 and August 14 due to a strained groin.
Foltynewicz, 26, will get some Cy Young votes for his terrific regular season performance. He went 13-10 with a 2.85 ERA and a 202/68 K/BB ratio in 183 innings of work. Thursday will be Foltynewicz’s first appearance in a playoff game.
Kershaw had been the Dodgers’ Game 1 starter in every NLDS in which they have appeared since 2013, so this is quite a change. Starting him in Game 2 allows him to pitch a potential Game 5 on four days of rest.