National League Championship Series

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In Major League Baseball, the National League Championship Series (NLCS) determines who wins the National League pennant and advances to baseball's championship, the World Series, facing the winner of the American League Championship Series.

Prior to 1969, the National League Champion (the "Pennant Winner") was determined by the best won-loss record at the end of the regular season. There was an occasional ad hoc playoff series due to ties under this formulation, as also happened in the rival American League.

A structured playoff 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 advanced to the World Series. In 1985, the format changed to best-of-seven.

In 1981, a divisional series was held due to split-season caused by strike action.

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 playoff round, the National League Division Series (NLDS). The winners of that round then advance to the best-of-seven NLCS. This is the system currently in use.

A Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is given to the outstanding player in each series. No MVP award is given for Division Series play.

For National League pennant winners prior to 1969, see National League pennant winners 1901-68 and National League pennant winners 1876-1900.

NLCS results (1969-present)

Year Winner Loser Wins Losses Series MVP
1969 New York Mets Atlanta Braves 3 0  
1970 Cincinnati Reds Pittsburgh Pirates 3 0  
1971 Pittsburgh Pirates San Francisco Giants 3 1  
1972 Cincinnati Reds Pittsburgh Pirates 3 2  
1973 New York Mets Cincinnati Reds 3 2  
1974 Los Angeles Dodgers Pittsburgh Pirates 3 1  
1975 Cincinnati Reds Pittsburgh Pirates 3 0  
1976 Cincinnati Reds Philadelphia Phillies 3 0  
1977 Los Angeles Dodgers Philadelphia Phillies 3 1 Dusty Baker, Los Angeles
1978 Los Angeles Dodgers Philadelphia Phillies 3 1 Steve Garvey, Los Angeles
1979 Pittsburgh Pirates Cincinnati Reds 3 0 Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh
1980 Philadelphia Phillies Houston Astros 3 2 Manny Trillo, Philadelphia
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers Montreal Expos 3 2 Burt Hooton, Los Angeles
1982 St. Louis Cardinals Atlanta Braves 3 0 Darrell Porter, St. Louis
1983 Philadelphia Phillies Los Angeles Dodgers 3 1 Gary Matthews, Philadelphia
1984 San Diego Padres Chicago Cubs 3 2 Steve Garvey, San Diego
1985 St. Louis Cardinals Los Angeles Dodgers 4 2 Ozzie Smith, St. Louis
1986 New York Mets Houston Astros 4 2 Mike Scott, Houston
1987 St. Louis Cardinals San Francisco Giants 4 3 Jeff Leonard, San Francisco
1988 Los Angeles Dodgers New York Mets 4 3 Orel Hershiser, Los Angeles
1989 San Francisco Giants Chicago Cubs 4 1 Will Clark, San Francisco
1990 Cincinnati Reds Pittsburgh Pirates 4 2 Rob Dibble and Randy Myers, Cincinnati
1991 Atlanta Braves Pittsburgh Pirates 4 3 Steve Avery, Atlanta
1992 Atlanta Braves Pittsburgh Pirates 4 3 John Smoltz, Atlanta
1993 Philadelphia Phillies Atlanta Braves 4 2 Curt Schilling, Philadelphia
1994 Not held due to player strike.
1995 Atlanta Braves Cincinnati Reds 4 0 Mike Devereaux, Atlanta
1996 Atlanta Braves St. Louis Cardinals 4 3 Javy Lopez, Atlanta
1997 Florida Marlins Atlanta Braves 4 2 Livan Hernandez, Florida
1998 San Diego Padres Atlanta Braves 4 2 Sterling Hitchcock, San Diego
1999 Atlanta Braves New York Mets 4 2 Eddie Perez, Atlanta
2000 New York Mets St. Louis Cardinals 4 1 Mike Hampton, New York
2001 Arizona Diamondbacks Atlanta Braves 4 1 Craig Counsell, Arizona
2002 San Francisco Giants St. Louis Cardinals 4 1 Benito Santiago, San Francisco
2003 Florida Marlins Chicago Cubs 4 3 Ivan Rodriguez, Florida
2004 St. Louis Cardinals Houston Astros 4 3 Albert Pujols, St. Louis
2005 Houston Astros St. Louis Cardinals 4 2 Roy Oswalt, Houston

Denotes wild-card team (since 1995).

See also