Clayton Kershaw will not start Game 1 of NLDS for Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers are changing things up in the postseason. When the team takes the field for Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Thursday, Clayton Kershaw won’t be on the mound.

The Dodgers shocked the baseball world Tuesday by announcing Hyun-jin Ryu would start Game 1 of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves. Kershaw is scheduled to start Game 2.

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Even though Kershaw will pitch in Game 2 on Friday, the move comes as a surprise. The 30-year-old Kershaw had been a lock to start the first game of the postseason for the Dodgers for quite some time now.

This isn’t an issue where Kershaw would be fatigued either. Had he started Game 1, Kershaw would have taken the mound on normal rest.

While it’s tough to imagine the Dodgers taking the mound without Kershaw in Game 1, Ryu has performed well in 2018. Over 82 1/3 innings, Ryu has a 1.97 ERA. Kershaw has a 2.73 ERA over 161 1/3 innings. Not only that, but Ryu actually has a higher strikeout rate this season.

Starting Ryu goes against conventional thought, but it could pay off in the long run. If the NLDS happens to go to a Game 5, Kershaw would be in line to take the mound on normal rest.

Clayton Kershaw will not start Game 1 of the NLDS. (AP Photo)
Clayton Kershaw will not start Game 1 of the NLDS. (AP Photo)

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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