National League Championship Series

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The National League Championship Series (NLCS) is a best-of-seven series played in October in the Major League Baseball postseason that determines the winner of the National League (NL) pennant. The winner of the series advances to play the winner of the American League (AL) Championship Series (ALCS) in the World Series, Major League Baseball's championship series.


Prior to 1969, the National League champion (the "pennant winner") was determined by the best win-loss record at the end of the regular season. There were four ad hoc three-game playoff series due to ties under this formulation (in 1946, 1951, 1959, and 1962). (The American League had to resolve a tie in 1948, but used a single-game playoff.)

A structured postseason series began in 1969, when both the National and American Leagues were reorganized into two divisions each, East and West. The two division winners within each league played each other in a best-of-five series to determine who would advance to the World Series. In 1985, the format changed to best-of-seven.

The NLCS and ALCS, since the expansion to seven games, are always played in a 2–3–2 format: games 1, 2, 6, and 7 are played in the stadium of the team that has home field advantage, and Games 3, 4, and 5 are played in the stadium of the team that does not. Home field advantage is given to the team that has the better record, with the exception that the team that made the postseason as the Wild Card team cannot get home field advantage. From 1969 to 1993, home field advantage was alternated between divisions each year regardless of regular season record and from 1995 to 1997 home field advantage was predetermined before the season.

In 1981, a divisional series was held due to a split season caused by a players' strike.

In 1994, the league was restructured into three divisions, with the three division winners and a wild-card team advancing to a best-of-five postseason round, the National League Division Series (NLDS). The winners of that round advance to the best-of-seven NLCS.

Every current National League franchise has appeared in the NLCS at least once. The Houston Astros made four NLCS appearances before moving to the AL in 2013.

As of the 2015 season, the Milwaukee Brewers are the only franchise to play in both the NLCS (in 2011) and the ALCS (in 1982). No franchise has won both the National and American League Championship Series.

Frequent matchups

Count Matchup Record Years
5 Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Reds, 4–1 1970, 1972, 1975, 1979, 1990
5 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies Phillies, 3–2 1977, 1978, 1983, 2008, 2009
4 San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals Giants, 3–1 1987, 2002, 2012, 2014
2 Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets Tied, 1–1 1969, 1999
2 Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals Tied, 1–1 1982, 1996
2 Atlanta Braves vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Braves, 2–0 1991, 1992
2 Houston Astros vs. St. Louis Cardinals Tied, 1–1 2004, 2005
2 New York Mets vs. St. Louis Cardinals Tied, 1–1 2000, 2006

Championship Trophy

The Warren C. Giles Trophy, named for the president of the NL from 1951 to 1969, is awarded to the NLCS winner.[1]

Most Valuable Player Award

See: League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award#National League winners

A Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is given to the outstanding player in each series, though voters can consider performances made during the divisional series. The MVP award has been given to a player on the losing team twice, in 1986 to Mike Scott of the Houston Astros and in 1987 to Jeff Leonard of the San Francisco Giants.

Although the National League began its LCS MVP award in 1977, the American League did not begin its LCS MVP award until 1980.[2]

NLCS results (1969–present)

wc Denotes wild-card team (since 1995)
* Denotes MVP did not play for winning team
Year Winner Loser Record Series MVP TV
1969 New York Mets Atlanta Braves 3–0   NBC
1970 Cincinnati Reds Pittsburgh Pirates 3–0   NBC
1971 Pittsburgh Pirates San Francisco Giants 3–1   NBC
1972 Cincinnati Reds Pittsburgh Pirates 3–2   NBC
1973 New York Mets Cincinnati Reds 3–2   NBC
1974 Los Angeles Dodgers Pittsburgh Pirates 3–1   NBC
1975 Cincinnati Reds Pittsburgh Pirates 3–0   NBC
1976 Cincinnati Reds Philadelphia Phillies 3–0   ABC
1977 Los Angeles Dodgers Philadelphia Phillies 3–1 Dusty Baker, Los Angeles NBC
1978 Los Angeles Dodgers Philadelphia Phillies 3–1 Steve Garvey, Los Angeles ABC
1979 Pittsburgh Pirates Cincinnati Reds 3–0 Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh NBC
1980 Philadelphia Phillies Houston Astros 3–2 Manny Trillo, Philadelphia ABC
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers Montreal Expos 3–2 Burt Hooton, Los Angeles NBC
1982 St. Louis Cardinals Atlanta Braves 3–0 Darrell Porter, St. Louis ABC
1983 Philadelphia Phillies Los Angeles Dodgers 3–1 Gary Matthews, Philadelphia NBC
1984 San Diego Padres Chicago Cubs 3–2 Steve Garvey, San Diego ABC
1985 St. Louis Cardinals Los Angeles Dodgers 4–2 Ozzie Smith, St. Louis NBC
1986 New York Mets Houston Astros 4–2 Mike Scott, Houston* ABC
1987 St. Louis Cardinals San Francisco Giants 4–3 Jeffrey Leonard, San Francisco* NBC
1988 Los Angeles Dodgers New York Mets 4–3 Orel Hershiser, Los Angeles ABC
1989 San Francisco Giants Chicago Cubs 4–1 Will Clark, San Francisco NBC
1990 Cincinnati Reds Pittsburgh Pirates 4–2 Rob Dibble and Randy Myers, Cincinnati CBS
1991 Atlanta Braves Pittsburgh Pirates 4–3 Steve Avery, Atlanta CBS
1992 Atlanta Braves Pittsburgh Pirates 4–3 John Smoltz, Atlanta CBS
1993 Philadelphia Phillies Atlanta Braves 4–2 Curt Schilling, Philadelphia CBS
1994 Series cancelled[3]
1995 Atlanta Braves Cincinnati Reds 4–0 Mike Devereaux, Atlanta ABC
1996 Atlanta Braves St. Louis Cardinals 4–3 Javy López, Atlanta Fox
1997 Florida Marlins wc Atlanta Braves 4–2 Liván Hernández, Florida NBC
1998 San Diego Padres Atlanta Braves 4–2 Sterling Hitchcock, San Diego Fox
1999 Atlanta Braves New York Mets wc 4–2 Eddie Pérez, Atlanta NBC
2000 New York Mets wc St. Louis Cardinals 4–1 Mike Hampton, New York Fox
2001 Arizona Diamondbacks Atlanta Braves 4–1 Craig Counsell, Arizona Fox
2002 San Francisco Giants wc St. Louis Cardinals 4–1 Benito Santiago, San Francisco Fox
2003 Florida Marlins wc Chicago Cubs 4–3 Iván Rodríguez, Florida Fox
2004 St. Louis Cardinals Houston Astros wc 4–3 Albert Pujols, St. Louis Fox
2005 Houston Astros wc St. Louis Cardinals 4–2 Roy Oswalt, Houston Fox
2006 St. Louis Cardinals New York Mets 4–3 Jeff Suppan, St. Louis Fox
2007 Colorado Rockies wc Arizona Diamondbacks 4–0 Matt Holliday, Colorado TBS
2008 Philadelphia Phillies Los Angeles Dodgers 4–1 Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Fox
2009 Philadelphia Phillies Los Angeles Dodgers 4–1 Ryan Howard, Philadelphia TBS
2010 San Francisco Giants Philadelphia Phillies 4–2 Cody Ross, San Francisco Fox
2011 St. Louis Cardinals wc Milwaukee Brewers 4–2 David Freese, St. Louis TBS
2012 San Francisco Giants St. Louis Cardinals wc 4–3 Marco Scutaro, San Francisco Fox
2013 St. Louis Cardinals Los Angeles Dodgers 4–2 Michael Wacha, St. Louis TBS
2014 San Francisco Giantswc St. Louis Cardinals 4–1 Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Fox/FS1
2015 New York Mets Chicago Cubswc 4–0 Daniel Murphy, New York TBS

NLCS appearances by team

Team Wins Losses Win % Most recent
Most recent
13 St. Louis Cardinals 7 6 .538 2013 2014
11 Atlanta Braves 5 6 .455 1999 2001
10 Los Angeles Dodgers 5 5 .500 1988 2013
9 Philadelphia Phillies 5 4 .556 2009 2010
9 Pittsburgh Pirates 2 7 .222 1979 1992
8 Cincinnati Reds 5 3 .625 1990 1995
8 New York Mets 5 3 .625 2015 2015
7 San Francisco Giants 5 2 .714 2014 2014
4 Houston Astros 1 3 .200 2005 2005
4 Chicago Cubs 0 4 .000 - 2015
2 Florida/Miami Marlins 2 0 1.000 2003 2003
2 San Diego Padres 2 0 1.000 1998 1998
2 Arizona Diamondbacks 1 1 .500 2001 2007
1 Colorado Rockies 1 0 1.000 2007 2007
1 Milwaukee Brewers 0 1 .000 - 2011
1 Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos 0 1 .000 - 1981

See also


  1. "'Fantastic feeling' for Bill Giles,". Philadelphia Inquirer. October 16, 2008. Retrieved August 17, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. League Championship Series Most Valuable Players ( ). MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  3. "Baseball-Reference Playoff and World Series Index". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>