|Part of a series on the|
|Major League Baseball postseason|
|Wild Card game|
|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 (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 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.
|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|
Most Valuable Player Award
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.
NLCS results (1969–present)
|wc||Denotes wild-card team (since 1995)|
|*||Denotes MVP did not play for winning team|
NLCS appearances by team
|13||St. Louis Cardinals||7||6||.538||2013||2014|
|10||Los Angeles Dodgers||5||5||.500||1988||2013|
|8||New York Mets||5||3||.625||2015||2015|
|7||San Francisco Giants||5||2||.714||2014||2014|
|2||San Diego Padres||2||0||1.000||1998||1998|
|1||Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos||0||1||.000||-||1981|
- List of National League pennant winners
- NL Division Series (NLDS)
- NL Wildcard (since 1994)
- Baseball awards
- List of MLB awards
- League Championship Series Most Valuable Players (MLB.com/News/Awards/History/ ). MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved August 31, 2009.