National League Championship Series
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National League Championship Series

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

The National League Championship Series (NLCS) 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.

History

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, except that the team that made the postseason as the Wild Card shall not 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 one-off 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 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). The Astros made four NLCS appearances before moving to the AL in 2013. Every current National League franchise has appeared in the NLCS.

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 the ALCS. 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.[2] The winners are listed in several locations:

NLCS results

Key
wc Denotes wild card team (since 1995)
* Denotes MVP did not play for winning team
Year Winning team Manager Games Losing team Manager Series MVP
1969 New York Mets Gil Hodges 3-0 Atlanta Braves Lum Harris  
1970 Cincinnati Reds Sparky Anderson 3-0 Pittsburgh Pirates Danny Murtaugh  
1971 Pittsburgh Pirates Danny Murtaugh 3-1 San Francisco Giants Charlie Fox  
1972 Cincinnati Reds Sparky Anderson 3-2 Pittsburgh Pirates Bill Virdon  
1973 New York Mets Yogi Berra 3-2 Cincinnati Reds Sparky Anderson  
1974 Los Angeles Dodgers Walter Alston 3-1 Pittsburgh Pirates Danny Murtaugh  
1975 Cincinnati Reds Sparky Anderson 3-0 Pittsburgh Pirates Danny Murtaugh  
1976 Cincinnati Reds Sparky Anderson 3-0 Philadelphia Phillies Danny Ozark  
1977 Los Angeles Dodgers Tommy Lasorda 3-1 Philadelphia Phillies Danny Ozark Dusty Baker, Los Angeles
1978 Los Angeles Dodgers Tommy Lasorda 3-1 Philadelphia Phillies Danny Ozark Steve Garvey, Los Angeles
1979 Pittsburgh Pirates Chuck Tanner 3-0 Cincinnati Reds John McNamara Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh
1980 Philadelphia Phillies Dallas Green 3-2 Houston Astros Bill Virdon Manny Trillo, Philadelphia
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers Tommy Lasorda 3-2 Montreal Expos Jim Fanning Burt Hooton, Los Angeles
1982 St. Louis Cardinals Whitey Herzog 3-0 Atlanta Braves Joe Torre Darrell Porter, St. Louis
1983 Philadelphia Phillies Paul Owens 3-1 Los Angeles Dodgers Tommy Lasorda Gary Matthews, Philadelphia
1984 San Diego Padres Dick Williams 3-2 Chicago Cubs Jim Frey Steve Garvey, San Diego
1985 St. Louis Cardinals Whitey Herzog 4-2 Los Angeles Dodgers Tommy Lasorda Ozzie Smith, St. Louis
1986 New York Mets Davey Johnson 4-2 Houston Astros Hal Lanier Mike Scott, Houston*
1987 St. Louis Cardinals Whitey Herzog 4-3 San Francisco Giants Roger Craig Jeffrey Leonard, San Francisco*
1988 Los Angeles Dodgers Tommy Lasorda 4-3 New York Mets Davey Johnson Orel Hershiser, Los Angeles
1989 San Francisco Giants Roger Craig 4-1 Chicago Cubs Don Zimmer Will Clark, San Francisco
1990 Cincinnati Reds Lou Piniella 4-2 Pittsburgh Pirates Jim Leyland Rob Dibble and Randy Myers, Cincinnati
1991 Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox 4-3 Pittsburgh Pirates Jim Leyland Steve Avery, Atlanta
1992 Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox 4-3 Pittsburgh Pirates Jim Leyland John Smoltz, Atlanta
1993 Philadelphia Phillies Jim Fregosi 4-2 Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox Curt Schilling, Philadelphia
1994 Series cancelled[4]
1995 Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox 4-0 Cincinnati Reds Davey Johnson Mike Devereaux, Atlanta
1996 Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox 4-3 St. Louis Cardinals Tony La Russa Javy López, Atlanta
1997 Florida Marlins wc Jim Leyland 4-2 Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox Liván Hernández, Florida
1998 San Diego Padres Bruce Bochy 4-2 Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox Sterling Hitchcock, San Diego
1999 Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox 4-2 New York Mets wc Bobby Valentine Eddie Pérez, Atlanta
2000 New York Mets wc Bobby Valentine 4-1 St. Louis Cardinals Tony La Russa Mike Hampton, New York
2001 Arizona Diamondbacks Bob Brenly 4-1 Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox Craig Counsell, Arizona
2002 San Francisco Giants wc Dusty Baker 4-1 St. Louis Cardinals Tony La Russa Benito Santiago, San Francisco
2003 Florida Marlins wc Jack McKeon 4-3 Chicago Cubs Dusty Baker Iván Rodríguez, Florida
2004 St. Louis Cardinals Tony La Russa 4-3 Houston Astros wc Phil Garner Albert Pujols, St. Louis
2005 Houston Astros wc Phil Garner 4-2 St. Louis Cardinals Tony La Russa Roy Oswalt, Houston
2006 St. Louis Cardinals Tony La Russa 4-3 New York Mets Willie Randolph Jeff Suppan, St. Louis
2007 Colorado Rockies wc Clint Hurdle 4-0 Arizona Diamondbacks Bob Melvin Matt Holliday, Colorado
2008 Philadelphia Phillies Charlie Manuel 4-1 Los Angeles Dodgers Joe Torre Cole Hamels, Philadelphia
2009 Philadelphia Phillies Charlie Manuel 4-1 Los Angeles Dodgers Joe Torre Ryan Howard, Philadelphia
2010 San Francisco Giants Bruce Bochy 4-2 Philadelphia Phillies Charlie Manuel Cody Ross, San Francisco
2011 St. Louis Cardinals wc Tony La Russa 4-2 Milwaukee Brewers Ron Roenicke David Freese, St. Louis
2012 San Francisco Giants Bruce Bochy 4-3 St. Louis Cardinals wc Mike Matheny Marco Scutaro, San Francisco
2013 St. Louis Cardinals Mike Matheny 4-2 Los Angeles Dodgers Don Mattingly Michael Wacha, St. Louis
2014 San Francisco Giantswc Bruce Bochy 4-1 St. Louis Cardinals Mike Matheny Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco
2015 New York Mets Terry Collins 4-0 Chicago Cubs wc Joe Maddon Daniel Murphy, New York
2016 Chicago Cubs Joe Maddon 4-2 Los Angeles Dodgers Dave Roberts Javier Báez and Jon Lester, Chicago
2017 Los Angeles Dodgers Dave Roberts 4-1 Chicago Cubs Joe Maddon Chris Taylor and Justin Turner, Los Angeles
2018 Los Angeles Dodgers Dave Roberts 4-3 Milwaukee Brewers Craig Counsell Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles
2019 Washington Nationalswc Dave Martinez 4-0 St. Louis Cardinals Mike Shildt Howie Kendrick, Washington

NLCS appearances by team

Apps Team Wins Losses Win % Most recent
win
Most recent
appearance
Games
won
Games
lost
Game
win %
14 St. Louis Cardinals 7 7 .500 2013 2019 38 43 .469
13 Los Angeles Dodgers 7 6 .538 2018 2018 29 32 .475
11 Atlanta Braves 5 6 .455 1999 2001 27 33 .450
9 Philadelphia Phillies 5 4 .556 2009 2010 22 20 .524
9 Pittsburgh Pirates 2 7 .222 1979 1992 17 25 .405
8 Cincinnati Reds 5 3 .625 1990 1995 18 14 .563
8 New York Mets 5 3 .625 2015 2015 26 17 .605
7 San Francisco Giants 5 2 .714 2014 2014 24 15 .615
6 Chicago Cubs 1 5 .167 2016 2017 11 21 .344
4 Houston Astros[a] 1 3 .250 2005 2005 11 13 .458
2 Miami Marlins[b] 2 0 1.000 2003 2003 8 5 .615
2 San Diego Padres 2 0 1.000 1998 1998 7 4 .636
2 Arizona Diamondbacks 1 1 .500 2001 2007 4 5 .444
2 Milwaukee Brewers 0 2 .000 - 2018 5 8 .385
2 Washington Nationals[c] 1 1 .500 2019 2019 6 3 .667
1 Colorado Rockies 1 0 1.000 2007 2007 4 0 1.000

Years of appearance - NLCS

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

Recurring matchups

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b The Houston Astros moved to the American League in 2013.
  2. ^ a b The Miami Marlins franchise competed as the Florida Marlins prior to 2012.
  3. ^ a b The Washington Nationals franchise competed as the Montreal Expos prior to 2005.

References

  1. ^ "'Fantastic feeling' for Bill Giles". The Philadelphia Inquirer. October 16, 2008. Retrieved 2009.
  2. ^ League Championship Series Most Valuable Players (MLB.com/News/Awards/History/ ). MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  3. ^ League Championship Series Most Valuable Players (MLB.com/News/Awards/History/ ). MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  4. ^ "Baseball-Reference Playoff and World Series Index". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2009.

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