National League Division Series

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

In Major League Baseball, the National League Division Series (NLDS) determines which two teams from the National League will advance to the National League Championship Series. The Division Series consists of two best-of-five series, featuring the three division winners and the winner of the wild-card play-off.


The Division Series was implemented in 1981 as a result of a midseason strike with first place teams before the strike taking on the first place teams after. After 1993, it was implemented for good when Major League Baseball restructured each league into three divisions, but their next playing was in 1995 due to the cancellation of the 1994 playoffs. Previously, because of a players' strike in 1981, a split-season format forced a divisional playoff series, in which the Montreal Expos won the Eastern Division series over the Philadelphia Phillies three games to two while the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Houston Astros three games to two in the Western Division. The team with the best overall record in the major leagues, the Cincinnati Reds, failed to win their division in either half of that season and were controversially excluded, as were the St. Louis Cardinals, who finished with the NL's second-best record. The Atlanta Braves have currently played in the most NL division series with thirteen appearances. The St. Louis Cardinals have currently won the most NL division series, winning ten of the twelve series in which they have played. The Pittsburgh Pirates (whose finished with a losing record from 1993-2012) were the last team to make their first appearance in the NL division series, making their debut in 2013 after winning the 2013 National League Wild Card Game. In 2011, the Milwaukee Brewers became the first team to play in division series in both leagues when they won the National League Central Division title, their first postseason berth since winning the American League East Division title in 1982 before switching leagues in 1998. Milwaukee had competed in an American League Division Series in the strike-shortened 1981 season.


The wild-card team is assigned to play the division winner with the best winning percentage in one series, and the other two division winners meet in the other series. (From 1998 to 2011, if the wild-card team and the division winner with the best record were from the same division, the wild-card team played the division winner with the second-best record, and the remaining two division leaders played each other.) The two series winners move on to the best-of-seven NLCS. The winner of the wild card has won the first round 7 out of the 11 years since the re-alignment and creation of the NLDS.[needs update] According to Nate Silver, the advent of this playoff series, and especially of the wild card, has caused teams to focus more on "getting to the playoffs" rather than "winning the pennant" as the primary goal of the regular season.[1]

Initially, the best-of-5 series played in a 2-3 format, with the first two games set at home for the lower seed team and the last three for the higher seed.[2][3] Since 1998, the series has followed a 2-2-1 format,[4] where the higher seed team plays at home in Games 1 and 2, the lower seed plays at home in Game 3 and Game 4 (if necessary), and if a Game 5 is needed, the teams return to the higher seed's field. When MLB added a second wild card team in 2012, the Division Series re-adopted the 2-3 format due to scheduling conflicts. It reverted to the 2-2-1 format from 2013 onwards.[5]

Frequent matchups

Count Matchup Record Years
5 Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros Braves, 3-2 1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005
3 San Diego Padres vs. St. Louis Cardinals Cardinals, 3-0 1996, 2005, 2006
3 St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Cardinals, 2-1 2004, 2009, 2014
2 St. Louis Cardinals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Tied, 1-1 2001, 2002
2 Florida Marlins vs. San Francisco Giants Marlins, 2-0 1997, 2003
2 Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves Tied, 1-1 1998, 2003
2 Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies Tied, 1-1 2007, 2009
2 San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves Giants, 2-0 2002, 2010
2 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves Tied, 1-1 1996, 2013
2 New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Mets, 2–0 2006, 2015

NOTE: With the Houston Astros move to the American League at the conclusion of the 2012 season, the Braves vs Astros series is no longer possible.

NLDS Results

  • Team names link to the season in which each team played
Year Winner Loser Wins Losses Notes
1981 Montreal Expos Philadelphia Phillies 3 2 One-time split-season format, due to strike (first half leader vs. second half leader); despite best overall NL East record, St. Louis Cardinals miss the playoffs
Los Angeles Dodgers Houston Astros 3 2 One-time split-season format, due to strike (first half leader vs. second half leader); despite best overall NL West record (and best overall NL record), Cincinnati Reds miss the playoffs
1995 Atlanta Braves Colorado Rockies 3 1 Due to newly added wild card, the expansion Colorado Rockies reach the postseason in only their third season in the league
Cincinnati Reds Los Angeles Dodgers 3 0
1996 Atlanta Braves Los Angeles Dodgers 3 0
St. Louis Cardinals San Diego Padres 3 0
1997 Atlanta Braves Houston Astros 3 0
Florida Marlins San Francisco Giants 3 0
1998 Atlanta Braves Chicago Cubs 3 0
San Diego Padres Houston Astros 3 1
1999 Atlanta Braves Houston Astros 3 1 Series included last two games played at Astrodome
New York Mets Arizona Diamondbacks 3 1 Todd Pratt hit a home run in the 10th inning of Game 4 to win series for Mets; Diamondbacks set new record by reaching postseason in only their second season
2000 St. Louis Cardinals Atlanta Braves 3 0
New York Mets San Francisco Giants 3 1 Bobby Jones pitched a 1-hit shutout in Game 4 to clinch series for Mets who become the first wild card team to win series in consecutive years
2001 Atlanta Braves Houston Astros 3 0
Arizona Diamondbacks St. Louis Cardinals 3 2
2002 St. Louis Cardinals Arizona Diamondbacks 3 0
San Francisco Giants Atlanta Braves 3 2
2003 Chicago Cubs Atlanta Braves 3 2 For the first time since the 1908 World Series, the Cubs win a postseason series.
Florida Marlins San Francisco Giants 3 1
2004 St. Louis Cardinals Los Angeles Dodgers 3 1
Houston Astros Atlanta Braves 3 2
2005 St. Louis Cardinals San Diego Padres 3 0 The sweep ends the Padres season at an overall record at 82-83.
Houston Astros Atlanta Braves 3 1 Game 4 was the longest postseason game in MLB history (18 innings)
2006 New York Mets Los Angeles Dodgers 3 0 In Game 3, Mets score 9 runs on 14 hits to complete the sweep of the Dodgers
St. Louis Cardinals San Diego Padres 3 1 For second straight year, Cards eliminate Padres in NLDS
2007 Colorado Rockies Philadelphia Phillies 3 0 Rookie Ubaldo Jimenez leads the Rockies over the Phillies as they advance to the NLCS
Arizona Diamondbacks Chicago Cubs 3 0 Diamondbacks outscore the Cubs 16-5, in the 3 game sweep
2008 Los Angeles Dodgers Chicago Cubs 3 0 Dodgers score 2 in the 1st inning and never look back as they defeat the Cubs 3-1 for the sweep in the series
Philadelphia Phillies Milwaukee Brewers 3 1 Shane Victorino's grand slam in Game 2 was key moment in Phils' win
2009 Los Angeles Dodgers St. Louis Cardinals 3 0 In his first career post season start, Vicente Padilla pitches 7 strong innings as the Dodgers sweep the Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies Colorado Rockies 3 1 Led by a Ryan Howard double, Phillies rally for 3 runs in the 9th to advance to the NLCS
2010 Philadelphia Phillies Cincinnati Reds 3 0 In his playoff debut, Roy Halladay threw the second no-hitter in MLB post season history
San Francisco Giants Atlanta Braves 3 1 In his playoff debut, Tim Lincecum threw a 2-hit, 14 strikeout complete game shutout
2011 St. Louis Cardinals Philadelphia Phillies 3 2 In one of the best pitching match ups ever, Chris Carpenter outduels his good friend Roy Halladay in the deciding Game 5 as the Cards eliminate the Phillies
Milwaukee Brewers Arizona Diamondbacks 3 2 Nyjer Morgan's walk off single in the 10th inning send the Brewers to the NLCS
2012 San Francisco Giants Cincinnati Reds 3 2 Giants became the eighth team to win a five-game playoff after trailing 2-0; MLB's new playoff format makes them the first to do so by winning last three on the road
St. Louis Cardinals Washington Nationals 3 2 Cardinals win Game 5 with the biggest elimination game comeback in MLB history
2013 St. Louis Cardinals Pittsburgh Pirates 3 2 Adam Wainwright pitches a complete game as the Cards defeat the Pirates in 5 games
Los Angeles Dodgers Atlanta Braves 3 1 Juan Uribe's 8th inning 2 run homer lifts the Dodgers in game 4 and wins the series
2014 St. Louis Cardinals Los Angeles Dodgers 3 1 Cy Young and MVP candidate, Clayton Kershaw loses games 1 and 4; Cardinals advance to NLCS for the fourth consecutive year
San Francisco Giants Washington Nationals 3 1 Giants win 18-inning Game 2, the longest postseason game in MLB history, and win series
2015 New York Mets Los Angeles Dodgers 3 2 Jacob deGrom bests Cy Young candidates Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in Games 1 and 5, helping the Mets advance to their first NLCS since 2006
Chicago Cubs St. Louis Cardinals 3 1 The Cubs set a postseason record with 6 home runs in Game 3, defeating the Cardinals, the team with the best record in 2015, in Game 4 to advance to their first NLCS since 2003
† indicates wild card team

NLDS Appearances

Team Wins Losses Win % Most recent
Most recent
13 St. Louis Cardinals 10 3 .769 2014 2015
13 Atlanta Braves 6 7 .462 2001 2013
10 Los Angeles Dodgers 4 6 .400 2013 2015
7 San Francisco Giants 4 3 .571 2014 2014
7 Houston Astros 2 5 .286 2005 2005
6 Philadelphia Phillies 3 3 .500 2010 2011
5 Arizona Diamondbacks 2 3 .400 2007 2011
5 Chicago Cubs 2 3 .400 2015 2015
4 New York Mets 4 0 1.000 2015 2015
4 San Diego Padres 1 3 .250 1998 2006
3 Cincinnati Reds 1 2 .333 1995 2012
3 Colorado Rockies 1 2 .333 2007 2009
3 Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos 1 2 .333 1981 2014
2 Florida/Miami Marlins 2 0 1.000 2003 2003
2 Milwaukee Brewers 1 1 .500 2011 2011
1 Pittsburgh Pirates 0 1 .000 - 2013

See also

External links


  • 1996, 1997, & 2007 are the years in which the National League Division Series finished in sweeps in both series.
  1. Nate Silver, "Selig's Dream: The Wild Card as Enabler of Pennant Races," in Steven Goldman, Ed., It Ain't Over 'til It's Over (New York: Basic Books): 170-178.
  2. 1984 NL Championship Series,
  3. 1997 AL Division Series,
  4. Gillette, Gary; Palmer, Pete, eds. (2006). "October Classics: Postseason Series and Playoffs". The 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. New York: Sterling Publishing. p. 1656.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Sporting News (2012-03-02). "MLB expands playoff field to 10 teams with addition of two wild cards". Retrieved 2013-10-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>