NLCS history: Teams with the most pennants, appearances and more

The Dodgers, Cardinals and Phillies are among the teams with the most NLCS success

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Before the Fall Classic commences each year, two MLB teams are awarded pennants.

For well over half a century, the winners of the American League and National League were determined by regular season record. The creation of the ALCS and NLCS in 1969 gave division winners in each league a chance to duke it out for a spot in the World Series.

MLB’s postseason now features six teams – three division winners and three wild cards – in each league, giving even more clubs a chance to reach the championship series and World Series.

Which National League team has had the most success in the NLCS? And which teams are still looking for their first NL crown?

With the 2023 series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Philadelphia Phillies in the books, here is a look at the history of the NLCS:

Which team has won the most NL pennants?

The Los Angeles Dodgers have won the National League and NLCS more than any other team. The organization has collected 24 pennants and won the NLCS eight times, most recently in 2020 en route to a World Series title.

The San Francisco Giants are right behind their NL West rivals. They have won 23 pennants and five NLCS series.

The St. Louis Cardinals are also high on the list of both NL titles (19) and NLCS triumphs (seven).

Here is a look at National League winners among active franchises, including their wins in the NLCS.

Most NL pennants

1. Dodgers: 24

2. Giants: 23

3. Cardinals: 19

4. Braves: 18

5. Cubs: 17

T-6. Pirates: 9

T-6. Reds: 9

8. Phillies: 8

9. Mets: 5

T-10. Padres: 2

T-10. Marlins: 2

T-10. Diamondbacks: 2

T-13. Rockies

T-13. Nationals: 1

T-13. Astros: 1

Most NLCS wins

1. Dodgers: 8

2. Cardinals: 7

T-3. Braves: 6

T-3. Phillies: 6

T-5. Reds: 5

T-5. Mets: 5

T-5. Giants: 5

T-8. Pirates: 2

T-8. Padres: 2

T-8. Marlins: 2

T-8. Diamondbacks: 2

T-12. Cubs: 1

T-12. Rockies: 1

T-12. Nationals: 1

T-12. Astros: 1

Which team has the most NLCS appearances?

The Dodgers have the most NLCS appearances with 15. They are 8-7 all-time in the NLCS.

The Cardinals (14), Braves (13) and Phillies (11) are the only other teams with double-digit NLCS appearances.

The Rockies have the fewest NLCS appearances of any current NL team with one (2007).

Has every NL team won the NLCS at least once?

The Brewers are the only NL team to never reach the World Series.

They have come close to claiming the pennant but fell just short in both of the NLCS appearances. The team lost to the Cardinals in a six-game 2011 series and fell to the Dodgers in Game 7 of the 2018 series.

Most common NLCS matchups

Two NLCS matchups have occurred a record five times.

The Reds and Pirates met five times from 1970 to 1990. The Reds went 4-1 across the five series.

The Dodgers and Phillies have also squared off five times in the NLCS. The Phillies hold a 3-2 edge in the matchup and won back-to-back NLCS bouts against the Dodgers in 2008 and 2009.

What is the name of the NLCS trophy?

The NLCS winner takes home the Warren C. Giles Award.

Giles spent time as the general manager and club president of the Reds before becoming the NL president. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

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