National League Championship Series

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 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 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 except the Washington Nationals, who have not made the NLCS since relocating from Montreal. The Houston Astros made four NLCS appearances before moving to the AL in 2013.

The Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros are the only franchises to play in both the NLCS and the ALCS. The Astros are the only team to have won both the National and American League Championship Series.

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 Manager Loser Manager Record Series MVP Network
1969 New York MetsGil Hodges Atlanta BravesLum Harris 3–0   NBC
1970 Cincinnati RedsSparky Anderson Pittsburgh PiratesDanny Murtaugh 3–0   NBC
1971 Pittsburgh PiratesDanny Murtaugh San Francisco GiantsCharlie Fox 3–1   NBC
1972 Cincinnati RedsSparky Anderson Pittsburgh PiratesBill Virdon 3–2   NBC
1973 New York MetsYogi Berra Cincinnati RedsSparky Anderson 3–2   NBC
1974 Los Angeles DodgersWalter Alston Pittsburgh PiratesDanny Murtaugh 3–1   NBC
1975 Cincinnati RedsSparky Anderson Pittsburgh PiratesDanny Murtaugh 3–0   NBC
1976 Cincinnati RedsSparky Anderson Philadelphia PhilliesDanny Ozark 3–0   ABC
1977 Los Angeles DodgersTommy Lasorda Philadelphia PhilliesDanny Ozark 3–1 Dusty Baker, Los Angeles NBC
1978 Los Angeles DodgersTommy Lasorda Philadelphia PhilliesDanny Ozark 3–1 Steve Garvey, Los Angeles ABC
1979 Pittsburgh PiratesChuck Tanner Cincinnati RedsJohn McNamara 3–0 Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh NBC
1980 Philadelphia PhilliesDallas Green Houston AstrosBill Virdon 3–2 Manny Trillo, Philadelphia ABC
1981 Los Angeles DodgersTommy Lasorda Montreal ExposJim Fanning 3–2 Burt Hooton, Los Angeles NBC
1982 St. Louis CardinalsWhitey Herzog Atlanta BravesJoe Torre 3–0 Darrell Porter, St. Louis ABC
1983 Philadelphia PhilliesPaul Owens Los Angeles DodgersTommy Lasorda 3–1 Gary Matthews, Philadelphia NBC
1984 San Diego PadresDick Williams Chicago CubsJim Frey 3–2 Steve Garvey, San Diego ABC
1985 St. Louis CardinalsWhitey Herzog Los Angeles DodgersTommy Lasorda 4–2 Ozzie Smith, St. Louis NBC
1986 New York MetsDavey Johnson Houston AstrosHal Lanier 4–2 Mike Scott, Houston* ABC
1987 St. Louis CardinalsWhitey Herzog San Francisco GiantsRoger Craig 4–3 Jeffrey Leonard, San Francisco* NBC
1988 Los Angeles DodgersTommy Lasorda New York MetsDavey Johnson 4–3 Orel Hershiser, Los Angeles ABC
1989 San Francisco GiantsRoger Craig Chicago CubsDon Zimmer 4–1 Will Clark, San Francisco NBC
1990 Cincinnati RedsLou Piniella Pittsburgh PiratesJim Leyland 4–2 Rob Dibble and Randy Myers, Cincinnati CBS
1991 Atlanta BravesBobby Cox Pittsburgh PiratesJim Leyland 4–3 Steve Avery, Atlanta CBS
1992 Atlanta BravesBobby Cox Pittsburgh PiratesJim Leyland 4–3 John Smoltz, Atlanta CBS
1993 Philadelphia PhilliesJim Fregosi Atlanta BravesBobby Cox 4–2 Curt Schilling, Philadelphia CBS
1994 Series cancelled[3]
1995 Atlanta BravesBobby Cox Cincinnati RedsDavey Johnson 4–0 Mike Devereaux, Atlanta ABC/NBC
1996 Atlanta BravesBobby Cox St. Louis CardinalsTony La Russa 4–3 Javy López, Atlanta Fox
1997 Florida Marlins wcJim Leyland Atlanta BravesBobby Cox 4–2 Liván Hernández, Florida NBC
1998 San Diego PadresBruce Bochy Atlanta BravesBobby Cox 4–2 Sterling Hitchcock, San Diego Fox
1999 Atlanta BravesBobby Cox New York Mets wcBobby Valentine 4–2 Eddie Pérez, Atlanta NBC
2000 New York Mets wcBobby Valentine St. Louis CardinalsTony La Russa 4–1 Mike Hampton, New York Fox
2001 Arizona DiamondbacksBob Brenly Atlanta BravesBobby Cox 4–1 Craig Counsell, Arizona Fox
2002 San Francisco Giants wcDusty Baker St. Louis CardinalsTony La Russa 4–1 Benito Santiago, San Francisco Fox
2003 Florida Marlins wcJack McKeon Chicago CubsDusty Baker 4–3 Iván Rodríguez, Florida Fox
2004 St. Louis CardinalsTony La Russa Houston Astros wcPhil Garner 4–3 Albert Pujols, St. Louis Fox
2005 Houston Astros wcPhil Garner St. Louis CardinalsTony La Russa 4–2 Roy Oswalt, Houston Fox
2006 St. Louis CardinalsTony La Russa New York MetsWillie Randolph 4–3 Jeff Suppan, St. Louis Fox
2007 Colorado Rockies wcClint Hurdle Arizona DiamondbacksBob Melvin 4–0 Matt Holliday, Colorado TBS
2008 Philadelphia PhilliesCharlie Manuel Los Angeles DodgersJoe Torre 4–1 Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Fox
2009 Philadelphia PhilliesCharlie Manuel Los Angeles DodgersJoe Torre 4–1 Ryan Howard, Philadelphia TBS
2010 San Francisco GiantsBruce Bochy Philadelphia PhilliesCharlie Manuel 4–2 Cody Ross, San Francisco Fox
2011 St. Louis Cardinals wcTony La Russa Milwaukee BrewersRon Roenicke 4–2 David Freese, St. Louis TBS
2012 San Francisco GiantsBruce Bochy St. Louis Cardinals wcMike Matheny 4–3 Marco Scutaro, San Francisco Fox
2013 St. Louis CardinalsMike Matheny Los Angeles DodgersDon Mattingly 4–2 Michael Wacha, St. Louis TBS
2014 San Francisco GiantswcBruce Bochy St. Louis CardinalsMike Matheny 4–1 Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Fox/FS1
2015 New York MetsTerry Collins Chicago CubswcJoe Maddon 4–0 Daniel Murphy, New York TBS
2016 Chicago CubsJoe Maddon Los Angeles DodgersDave Roberts 4–2 Javier Báez and Jon Lester, Chicago FS1
2017 Los Angeles DodgersDave Roberts Chicago CubsJoe Maddon 4–1 Chris Taylor and Justin Turner, Los Angeles TBS

NLCS appearances by team

Team Wins Losses Win % Most recent
Most recent
win %
Most recent
game win
13St. Louis Cardinals76.538201320143839.4942014
12Los Angeles Dodgers66.500201720172932.4752017
11Atlanta Braves56.455199920012733.4502001
9Philadelphia Phillies54.556200920102220.5242010
9Pittsburgh Pirates27.222197919921725.4051992
8Cincinnati Reds53.625199019951814.5631990
8New York Mets53.625201520152617.6052015
7San Francisco Giants52.714201420142415.6152014
6Chicago Cubs15.167201620171121.3442017
4Houston Astros13.250200520051113.4582005
2Miami Marlins201.0002003200385.6152003
2San Diego Padres201.0001998199874.6361998
2Arizona Diamondbacks11.5002001200745.4442001
1Colorado Rockies101.00020072007401.0002007
1Milwaukee Brewers01.000-201124.3332011
1Montreal Expos01.000-198123.4001981

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
2 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals Cardinals, 2–0 1985, 2013
2 Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Tied, 1–1 2016, 2017

See also


  1. "'Fantastic feeling' for Bill Giles,". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Oct 16, 2008. Retrieved August 17, 2009.
  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.
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