NL Central Division
The National League Central Division, also called the NL Central was created in 1994 when Major League Baseball realigned into six divisions. This created Central Divisions in both the American League and National League. A realignment occurred after the expansion of 1998, in order to have an even number of teams in both leagues.
The National League Central Division has contained the following teams:
1998-2012: Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and St. Louis Cardinals
2013-: Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and St. Louis Cardinals
The National League Central was the only division numbering 6 teams, from 1998 to 2012; the other 5 divisions contained either 5 or 4 teams. That changed when the Houston Astros moved to the AL West following the 2012 season.
- The 1994 postseason was cancelled because of the 1994 strike; the Cincinnati Reds were only 1/2 game ahead of the Houston Astros when play was suspended.
- The Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals finished with identical records; the Astros were awarded the Division title because of a better head-to-head record.
- The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Chicago Cubs in a one-game playoff to win the division title.
- Season shortened by the Coronavirus pandemic; a special Postseason format was used.
The National League Central has provided 17 teams as one of the National League Wild Card since 1995; in 2013, it was the first division to provide both wild card teams after the introduction of the Wild Card Game:
- 1998 Chicago Cubs
- 2001 St. Louis Cardinals
- 2004 Houston Astros
- 2005 Houston Astros Lost World Series to Chicago White Sox
- 2008 Milwaukee Brewers
- 2011 St. Louis Cardinals Won World Series over Texas Rangers
- 2012 St. Louis Cardinals
- 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds
- 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates
- 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs
- 2018 Chicago Cubs
- 2019 Milwaukee Brewers
- 2020 St. Louis Cardinals (2nd place), Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers
- 2021 St. Louis Cardinals