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The National League Central is one of
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest major professional sports league in the world. , a total of 30 teams play in Major League Baseball—15 teams in the National League (NL) and 15 in the Ame ...
's six divisions. This division was created in 1994, by moving two teams from the
National League West The National League West is one of the three divisions of the National League The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League (NL), is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball Major ...
(the
Cincinnati Reds The Cincinnati Reds are an American professional baseball team based in Cincinnati. The Reds compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) National League Central, Central division, and were a charter membe ...

Cincinnati Reds
and the
Houston Astros The Houston Astros are an American professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, le ...
) and three teams from the
National League East The National League East is one of Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific ...
(the
Chicago Cubs The Chicago Cubs are an American professional baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on t ...
, the
Pittsburgh Pirates The Pittsburgh Pirates are an American professional baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a play ...
, and the
St. Louis Cardinals The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, ...
). When the division was created in 1994, the Pirates were originally supposed to stay in the East while the
Atlanta Braves The Atlanta Braves are an American professional baseball team based in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The Braves compete in Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is an American professional baseball organization and the oldes ...
were to be moved to the Central from the West. However, the Braves, wanting to form a natural rivalry with the expansion
Florida Marlins The Miami Marlins are an American professional baseball team based in Miami Miami (), officially the City of Miami, is a Coast, coastal metropolis located in southeastern Florida in the United States. It is the third most populous metropolit ...
, requested to remain in the East. Despite the Marlins offering to go to the Central, the Pirates instead gave up their spot in the East to the Braves. Since then, the Pirates have tried several times unsuccessfully to be placed back in the East. In 1998, the NL Central became the largest division in Major League Baseball when the
Milwaukee Brewers The Milwaukee Brewers are an American professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, ...
were moved in from the
American League Central The American League Central is one of six divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are combined to make new numbers. The ...
. In 2013, the Astros moved to the
American League West The American League West is one of three divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are combined to make new numbers. The ...
. This division has been dominated by the Cardinals, who have accounted for 11 of the 25 division championships, plus three wild card wins. Aside from the Cardinals, the Cubs have the second most division championships with six, as well as three wild card wins. The Astros have four division titles and two wild card wins. The Reds have three division titles, along with one wild card win. The Brewers have three divisional championships, with two wild card wins. The Pirates have not won the division since the division was created, but possess three wild card wins. The 2013 win was the Pirates’ first playoff berth since 1992. The current division champion for the NL Central is the 2021
Milwaukee Brewers The Milwaukee Brewers are an American professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, ...
. This is the third division championship for the Brewers, winning last in 2018.


Division membership


Current members

*
Chicago Cubs The Chicago Cubs are an American professional baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on t ...
– Founding member; formerly of the NL East *
Cincinnati Reds The Cincinnati Reds are an American professional baseball team based in Cincinnati. The Reds compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) National League Central, Central division, and were a charter membe ...

Cincinnati Reds
– Founding member; formerly of the NL West *
Milwaukee Brewers The Milwaukee Brewers are an American professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, ...
- Since 1998; formerly of the AL West, AL East, AL Central *
Pittsburgh Pirates The Pittsburgh Pirates are an American professional baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a play ...
– Founding member; formerly of the NL East *
St. Louis Cardinals The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, ...
– Founding member; formerly of the NL East


Former member

*
Houston Astros The Houston Astros are an American professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, le ...
– Founding member; formerly of the NL West; moved to the
AL West The American League West is one of three divisions in Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is an American professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Cana ...
in 2013


Division lineups

Place cursor over year for division champ or World Series team. : Creation of division due to the 1994 realignment into three divisions (with Chicago, Pittsburgh and St. Louis from NL East, and Cincinnati and Houston from NL West) : Milwaukee switched leagues due to the 1998 expansion, moving in from
AL Central The American League Central is one of six divisions in Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is an American professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Cana ...
: Houston switched leagues after the 2012 season, and joined the
AL West The American League West is one of three divisions in Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is an American professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Cana ...


Champions by year

*''Team names link to the season in which each team played'' § – Due to the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike on August 12, no official winner was awarded.
Cincinnati Cincinnati ( ) is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Hamilton County, Ohio, Hamilton County. Settled in 1788, the city is located at the northern side of the confluence of the Licking River (Kentucky), Licking and Ohio Riv ...
was leading by half a game over
Houston Houston ( ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in Texas, List of United States cities by population, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as th ...
at the time of the strike. * – The Astros and Cardinals finished with identical regular season records. Because the Astros edged the Cardinals in head-to-head games, 9–7, they were awarded the National League Central division title, and the Cardinals were designated as winners of the National League Wild Card. † – Due to the
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, the season was shortened to 60 games. By virtue of the eight-team postseason format used for that season, division runner-up
St. Louis St. Louis () is the second-largest city in Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State ( ...
(30–28, .517) also automatically qualified for the playoffs. The St. Louis Cardinals Lost NLWC ( Padres) 2–1.


National League Championships

The division has produced six National League Pennant winners: St. Louis in 2004, 2006, 2011 and 2013, Houston in 2005, and Chicago in 2016.


Wild-card winners

The wild card was introduced in 1994 and was initially assigned to the team with the best record in each league that did not win its division. The first year of implementation was 1995 as a player strike prematurely ended the 1994 season. Since implementation, each of the NL Central teams has won the wild card. In 2012, a second wild card was added to post-season play. * – Defeated the
San Francisco Giants The San Francisco Giants are an American professional baseball team based in San Francisco. The Giants compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) National League West, West division. Founded in 1883 as t ...
in a one game playoff for the Wild Card, 5–3. – Finished with the same record as the
Houston Astros The Houston Astros are an American professional baseball team based in Houston. The Astros compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) American League West, West division, having moved to the division i ...
, but Houston won the season series vs. the Cardinals that year, and were given the higher seed in the playoffs. ** – Starting with the 2012 season, there are two Wild Card winners in each league. The qualifiers will play a single-game playoff to determine who will face the top-seeded team in the
National League Division Series In Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is an American professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in Major League Baseba ...
. †† – Due to the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a c ...
, the season was shortened to 60 games. *** – Finished with the same record as the
San Francisco Giants The San Francisco Giants are an American professional baseball team based in San Francisco. The Giants compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) National League West, West division. Founded in 1883 as t ...
but won the wild-card spot due to a superior intra-divisional record (Brewers went 19–21 vs. the NL Central while the Giants went 18–22 vs. the NL West).


Season results

;Notes and Tiebreakers * Chicago and
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...
of the
National League West The National League West is one of the three divisions of the National League The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League (NL), is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball Major ...
were tied for the wild-card berth and played in a tie-breaker game. The Cubs won 5–3 to claim the wild-card spot. * Cincinnati and
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
of the
National League East The National League East is one of Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific ...
were tied for the wild-card berth and played in a tie-breaker game. The Reds lost 5–0 and were eliminated from postseason contention. * St. Louis and
Atlanta Atlanta () is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Georgia (U.S. state), most populous city of the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. With an estimated 2019 population of 506,811, it is also the List of United ...
of the
National League East The National League East is one of Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific ...
were tied for the second and third seed but the Cardinals claimed the second seed by winning the season series 4–3. * Houston and St. Louis were tied for the division championship and wild-card berth but the Astros claimed the division crown by winning the season series 9–7, relegating St. Louis to the wild-card spot. * Milwaukee and Chicago were tied for the division championship and first wild-card berth and played in a tie-breaker game. The Brewers won 3–1 to claim the division crown, while the Cubs were relegated to the first wild-card spot. * Milwaukee and
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...
of the
National League West The National League West is one of the three divisions of the National League The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League (NL), is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball Major ...
were tied for the second wild-card berth but the Brewers clinched the final postseason spot due to a superior intra-division record (Milwaukee had a 19–21 record while San Francisco had an 18–22 record).


NL Central titles won by team

* – Won division via tiebreaker
''Italics'' indicates former division member


See also

*
National League East The National League East is one of Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific ...
*
National League West The National League West is one of the three divisions of the National League The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League (NL), is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball Major ...
*
American League East The American League East is one of Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific ...
*
American League Central The American League Central is one of six divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are combined to make new numbers. The ...
*
American League West The American League West is one of three divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are combined to make new numbers. The ...


References


MLB Final Standings By Year


External links


MLB Regular Season Standings
{{St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball divisions Sports leagues established in 1994 1994 in baseball