National League Championship Series

The National League Championship Series (NLCS), also known as the National League Pennant, is a best-of-seven playoff and one of two League Championship Series comprising the penultimate round of Major League Baseball's (MLB) postseason. It is contested by the winners of the two National League (NL) Division Series. The winner of the NLCS wins the NL pennant and advances to the World Series, MLB's championship series, to play the winner of the American League's (AL) Championship Series. The NLCS began in 1969 as a best-of-five playoff and used this format until 1985, when it changed to its current best-of-seven format.

Billy Bean stands by the NLCS logo at Dodger Stadium in 2016


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).

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, except a division champion would always get home advantage over a Wild Card team. 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 one-off division 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 now-permanent National League Division Series (NLDS). The winners of that round advance to the best-of-seven NLCS.

The Milwaukee Brewers, an American League team between 1969 and 1997, and the Houston Astros, a National League team between 1962 and 2012, are the only franchises to play in both the ALCS and NLCS. The Astros are the only team to have won both an NLCS (2005) and an ALCS (2017, 2019, 2021, and 2022). The Astros made four NLCS appearances before moving to the AL in 2013. Every current National League franchise has appeared in the NLCS and all teams except the Brewers have won an NL Pennant via the NLCS.

For the first time in history, two wild card teams played in the 2022 National League Championship Series

Championship Trophy

The Warren C. Giles Trophy is awarded to the NLCS winner.[1] Warren Giles served as president of the National League from 1951 to 1969.[2]

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 the NLCS. No MVP award is given for Division Series play.

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 Jeffrey 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.[3] The winners are listed in several locations:


Wild card
MVP did not play for winning team
Year Winning team Manager Games Losing team Manager Series MVP
1969 New York MetsGil Hodges 3–0 Atlanta BravesLum Harris  
1970 Cincinnati RedsSparky Anderson 3–0 Pittsburgh PiratesDanny Murtaugh
1971 Pittsburgh PiratesDanny Murtaugh 3–1 San Francisco GiantsCharlie Fox
1972 Cincinnati RedsSparky Anderson 3–2 Pittsburgh PiratesBill Virdon
1973 New York MetsYogi Berra 3–2 Cincinnati RedsSparky Anderson
1974 Los Angeles DodgersWalter Alston 3–1 Pittsburgh PiratesDanny Murtaugh
1975 Cincinnati RedsSparky Anderson 3–0 Pittsburgh PiratesDanny Murtaugh
1976 Cincinnati RedsSparky Anderson 3–0 Philadelphia PhilliesDanny Ozark
1977 Los Angeles DodgersTommy Lasorda 3–1 Philadelphia PhilliesDanny Ozark Dusty Baker, Los Angeles
1978 Los Angeles DodgersTommy Lasorda 3–1 Philadelphia PhilliesDanny Ozark Steve Garvey, Los Angeles
1979 Pittsburgh PiratesChuck Tanner 3–0 Cincinnati RedsJohn McNamara Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh
1980 Philadelphia PhilliesDallas Green 3–2 Houston AstrosBill Virdon Manny Trillo, Philadelphia
1981 Los Angeles DodgersTommy Lasorda 3–2 Montreal ExposJim Fanning Burt Hooton, Los Angeles
1982 St. Louis CardinalsWhitey Herzog 3–0 Atlanta BravesJoe Torre Darrell Porter, St. Louis
1983 Philadelphia PhilliesPaul Owens 3–1 Los Angeles DodgersTommy Lasorda Gary Matthews, Philadelphia
1984 San Diego PadresDick Williams 3–2 Chicago CubsJim Frey Steve Garvey, San Diego
1985 St. Louis CardinalsWhitey Herzog 4–2 Los Angeles DodgersTommy Lasorda Ozzie Smith, St. Louis
1986 New York MetsDavey Johnson 4–2 Houston AstrosHal Lanier Mike Scott, Houston*
1987 St. Louis CardinalsWhitey Herzog 4–3 San Francisco GiantsRoger Craig Jeffrey Leonard, San Francisco*
1988 Los Angeles DodgersTommy Lasorda 4–3 New York MetsDavey Johnson Orel Hershiser, Los Angeles
1989 San Francisco GiantsRoger Craig 4–1 Chicago CubsDon Zimmer Will Clark, San Francisco
1990 Cincinnati RedsLou Piniella 4–2 Pittsburgh PiratesJim Leyland Rob Dibble and Randy Myers, Cincinnati
1991 Atlanta BravesBobby Cox 4–3 Pittsburgh PiratesJim Leyland Steve Avery, Atlanta
1992 Atlanta BravesBobby Cox 4–3 Pittsburgh PiratesJim Leyland John Smoltz, Atlanta
1993 Philadelphia PhilliesJim Fregosi 4–2 Atlanta BravesBobby Cox Curt Schilling, Philadelphia
1994 No Series due to a players' strike.
1995 Atlanta BravesBobby Cox 4–0 Cincinnati RedsDavey Johnson Mike Devereaux, Atlanta
1996 Atlanta BravesBobby Cox 4–3 St. Louis CardinalsTony La Russa Javy López, Atlanta
1997 Florida MarlinsJim Leyland 4–2 Atlanta BravesBobby Cox Liván Hernández, Florida
1998 San Diego PadresBruce Bochy 4–2 Atlanta BravesBobby Cox Sterling Hitchcock, San Diego
1999 Atlanta BravesBobby Cox 4–2 New York MetsBobby Valentine Eddie Pérez, Atlanta
2000 New York MetsBobby Valentine 4–1 St. Louis CardinalsTony La Russa Mike Hampton, New York
2001 Arizona DiamondbacksBob Brenly 4–1 Atlanta BravesBobby Cox Craig Counsell, Arizona
2002 San Francisco GiantsDusty Baker 4–1 St. Louis CardinalsTony La Russa Benito Santiago, San Francisco
2003 Florida MarlinsJack McKeon 4–3 Chicago CubsDusty Baker Iván Rodríguez, Florida
2004 St. Louis CardinalsTony La Russa 4–3 Houston AstrosPhil Garner Albert Pujols, St. Louis
2005 Houston AstrosPhil Garner 4–2 St. Louis CardinalsTony La Russa Roy Oswalt, Houston
2006 St. Louis CardinalsTony La Russa 4–3 New York MetsWillie Randolph Jeff Suppan, St. Louis
2007 Colorado RockiesClint Hurdle 4–0 Arizona DiamondbacksBob Melvin Matt Holliday, Colorado
2008 Philadelphia PhilliesCharlie Manuel 4–1 Los Angeles DodgersJoe Torre Cole Hamels, Philadelphia
2009 Philadelphia PhilliesCharlie Manuel 4–1 Los Angeles DodgersJoe Torre Ryan Howard, Philadelphia
2010 San Francisco GiantsBruce Bochy 4–2 Philadelphia PhilliesCharlie Manuel Cody Ross, San Francisco
2011 St. Louis CardinalsTony La Russa 4–2 Milwaukee BrewersRon Roenicke David Freese, St. Louis
2012 San Francisco GiantsBruce Bochy 4–3 St. Louis CardinalsMike Matheny Marco Scutaro, San Francisco
2013 St. Louis CardinalsMike Matheny 4–2 Los Angeles DodgersDon Mattingly Michael Wacha, St. Louis
2014 San Francisco GiantsBruce Bochy 4–1 St. Louis CardinalsMike Matheny Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco
2015 New York MetsTerry Collins 4–0 Chicago CubsJoe Maddon Daniel Murphy, New York
2016 Chicago CubsJoe Maddon 4–2 Los Angeles DodgersDave Roberts Javier Báez and Jon Lester, Chicago
2017 Los Angeles DodgersDave Roberts 4–1 Chicago CubsJoe Maddon Chris Taylor and Justin Turner, Los Angeles
2018 Los Angeles DodgersDave Roberts 4–3 Milwaukee BrewersCraig Counsell Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles
2019 Washington NationalsDave Martinez 4–0 St. Louis CardinalsMike Shildt Howie Kendrick, Washington
2020 Los Angeles DodgersDave Roberts 4–3 Atlanta BravesBrian Snitker Corey Seager, Los Angeles
2021 Atlanta BravesBrian Snitker 4–2 Los Angeles DodgersDave Roberts Eddie Rosario, Atlanta
2022 Philadelphia PhilliesRob Thomson 4–1 San Diego PadresBob Melvin Bryce Harper, Philadelphia

Appearances by team

Apps Team Wins Losses Win % Most recent
Most recent
win %
15Los Angeles Dodgers87.533202020213942.481
14St. Louis Cardinals77.500201320193843.469
13Atlanta Braves67.462202120213439.466
10Philadelphia Phillies64.600202220222621.553
9Pittsburgh Pirates27.222197919921725.405
8Cincinnati Reds53.625199019951814.563
8New York Mets53.625201520152617.605
7San Francisco Giants52.714201420142415.615
6Chicago Cubs15.167201620171121.344
4Houston Astros[lower-alpha 1]13.250200520051113.458
3San Diego Padres21.6671998202288.500
2Miami Marlins201.0002003200385.615
2Arizona Diamondbacks11.5002001200745.444
2Washington Nationals11.5002019201963.667
2Milwaukee Brewers02.000Never201858.385
1Colorado Rockies101.00020072007401.000

Years of appearance

In the sortable table below, teams are ordered first by number of wins, then by number of appearances, and finally by year of first appearance. In the "Season(s)" column, bold years indicate winning appearances.

Apps Team Wins Losses Win % Season(s)
15Los Angeles Dodgers87.5331974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021
14St. Louis Cardinals77.5001982, 1985, 1987, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019
13Atlanta Braves67.4621969, 1982, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2020, 2021
10Philadelphia Phillies64.6001976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1993, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2022
8New York Mets53.6251969, 1973, 1986, 1988, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2015
8Cincinnati Reds53.6251970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1990, 1995
7San Francisco Giants52.7141971, 1987, 1989, 2002, 2010, 2012, 2014
9Pittsburgh Pirates27.2221970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1990, 1991, 1992
3San Diego Padres21.6671984, 1998, 2022
2Miami Marlins201.0001997, 2003
6Chicago Cubs15.1671984, 1989, 2003, 2015, 2016, 2017
4Houston Astros[lower-alpha 1]13.2501980, 1986, 2004, 2005
2Washington Nationals11.5001981, 2019
2Arizona Diamondbacks11.5002001, 2007
1Colorado Rockies101.0002007
2Milwaukee Brewers02.0002011, 2018

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 Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Tied, 1–1 2020, 2021
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. The Houston Astros moved to the American League in 2013.


  1. "'Fantastic feeling' for Bill Giles". The Philadelphia Inquirer. October 16, 2008. Retrieved August 17, 2009.
  2. Amour, Mark. "Warren Giles". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  3. League Championship Series Most Valuable Players ( ). MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  4. League Championship Series Most Valuable Players ( ). MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
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