Nl wildcard

The wild card was established for Major League Baseball's playoffs in 1994 with the intention of helping the best teams that did not win their division to still have a chance to win the World Series. The restructuring of both the National and American Leagues from two divisions each to three made it necessary to either give one team a bye in the first round of playoffs, or create the wild card for the best second-place team. In addition, the wild card guaranteed that the team with the second best record in each league would qualify for the playoffs, even if they were in the same division with the team having the best record.

There were no division or wild-card winners in 1994, due to the 1994 Major League Baseball strike.

Beginning in 2012, a second wild card team will be added to each league. The two wild card teams in each league will face each other in a one game playoff, the winner advancing to meet the number one seed in the Division Series.

NL wild-card qualifiers by year

As of 2011, two NL wild-card teams went on to win the World Series (Miami, as Florida in 1997 and 2003 and St. Louis in 2011). Four teams won the NL pennant but lost the World Series (NY Mets in 2000, San Francisco in 2002, Houston in 2005, Colorado in 2007). Two other teams won the division series but lost the championship series.

  • Team names link to the season in which each team played
Year Team Record % Playoffs
Original Format
1995 Colorado Rockies 77–67 .535 Lost Division Series to Atlanta, 3–1
1996 Los Angeles Dodgers 90–72 .556 Lost Division Series to Atlanta, 3–0
1997 Florida Marlins 92–70 .568 Won World Series over Cleveland, 4–3
1998 Chicago Cubs 90–73 .552 Lost Division Series to Atlanta, 3–0
1999 New York Mets 97–66 .595 Lost NLCS to Atlanta, 4–2
2000 New York Mets 94–68 .580 Lost World Series to New York (AL), 4–1
2001 St. Louis Cardinals 93–69 .574 Lost Division Series to Arizona, 3–2
2002 San Francisco Giants 95–66 .590 Lost World Series to Anaheim, 4–3
2003 Florida Marlins 91–71 .562 Won World Series over New York (AL), 4–2
2004 Houston Astros 92–70 .568 Lost NLCS to St. Louis, 4–3
2005 Houston Astros 89–73 .549 Lost World Series to Chicago (AL), 4–0
2006 Los Angeles Dodgers 88–74 .543 Lost Division Series to New York (NL), 3–0
2007 Colorado Rockies 90–73 .552 Lost World Series to Boston, 4–0
2008 Milwaukee Brewers 90–72 .556 Lost Division Series to Philadelphia, 3–1
2009 Colorado Rockies 92–70 .568 Lost Division Series to Philadelphia, 3–1
2010 Atlanta Braves 91–71 .562 Lost Division Series to San Francisco, 3–1
2011 St. Louis Cardinals 90–72 .556 Won World Series over Texas, 4–3
Expanded Format
2012 Atlanta Braves 94–68 .580 Lost Wild Card Game to St. Louis, 6–3
St. Louis Cardinals 88–74 .543 Lost NLCS to San Francisco, 4–3
2013 Pittsburgh Pirates 94–68 .580 Lost Division Series to St. Louis, 3–2
Cincinnati Reds 90–72 .556 Lost Wild Card Game to Pittsburgh, 6–2
  • Wild Card Games are reflected by the game's score. The NLDS, NLCS and World Series results are reflected by the series' score.

Most NL wild-card appearances

Rank Team Total Year(s)
T-1 Colorado Rockies 3 1995, 2007, 2009
T-1 St. Louis Cardinals 3 2001, 2011, 2012
T-3 Los Angeles Dodgers 2 1996, 2006
T-3 Florida/Miami Marlins 2 1997, 2003
T-3 New York Mets 2 1999, 2000
T-3 Houston Astros 2 2004, 2005
T-3 Atlanta Braves 2 2010, 2012
T-8 Chicago Cubs 1 1998
T-8 San Francisco Giants 1 2002
T-8 Milwaukee Brewers 1 2008
T-8 Cincinnati Reds 1 2013
T-8 Pittsburgh Pirates 1 2013
  • Year in which the Wild Card qualifier won the Wild Card playoff is listed in italics.

Teams' NLDS records as NL wild-card qualifiers

NL Team Series Record
Florida/Miami Marlins 2–0
Houston Astros 2–0
New York Mets 2–0
San Francisco Giants 1–0
St. Louis Cardinals 2–1
Colorado Rockies 1–2
Atlanta Braves 0–1
Chicago Cubs 0–1
Milwaukee Brewers 0–1
Pittsburgh Pirates 0–1
Los Angeles Dodgers 0–2
combined 10–9

See also

Baseball portal

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