What Is NLDS In Baseball? (Explained)

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It is unclear where baseball originated, but as a sport, it’s not only loved globally but has also become a part of American culture. So whether brushing up on your baseball knowledge or trying to learn how to play baseball, you may have heard of the NLDS. But what is the NLDS, and how does it work?

The NLDS stands for the National League Division Series. The NLDS determines which two national teams will advance to the National League Championship Series. The NLDS has a two best-of-five series games which feature the division and wild card winners.

The first National League Division Series was introduced in 1981 but wasn’t implemented indefinitely until 1995. In the period 1994-2011, the wild card was given to the team with the best overall record, not a division champion. As of the year 2021, the Atlanta Braves are the team that has played the most in the division series.

The History Of The NLDS

The NLDS was created in 1993, but when Major league baseball reconstructed each league into three divisions and due to a cancellation of the 1994 playoffs, the first official games were in 1995. In 1981, a player strike forced a divisional playoff series and ultimately led to the creation of the NLDS.

The wild card was given to a team in the national league between 1994 and 2011. This wild card was given to the team with the best record and not to a team who was a divisional champion. As of 2012, the wild card team is assigned to play the division winner, and the other winners face off against each other.

How Does The NLDS Work?

During the Major Baseball National League Division Series, two teams from the national league compete against each other in baseball games to move on to the National League Championship Series.

This division series includes three division champions and the wild card winner.

How Many Games Are Played In The NLDS?

The National League Division Series has a maximum of five games played. Each series has a minimum of three games played, and two additional games are played if needed to determine the winning team.

One series can take all five games to determine a winner, while another may only require three games to determine the winner. It’s easier for teams to play three games to determine a winner because they have more time to rest to prepare for any more games they’ll need to play.

Where Are The NLDS Games Played?

The division winner plays against the wild card team, while the other winners play against each other. The team with the better record is known as the “higher seed.”

The team with the better record hosts at home for the first and second games, and then the games move to the “lower seed’s” for the third and fourth games if a fourth game is held. Finally, the fifth and final game is held at the “higher seed’s” home turf.

Is There Another Meaning To NLDS in Baseball?

Ironically, NLDS has another meaning in baseball. NLDS is also an acronym for “No longer defined as strikeout .”Baseball statisticians use this term to reflect the accuracy of a pitcher’s performance. The NLDS was created due to the changes in how strikeouts were recorded. To improve accuracy and not just record a strike as an out by the pitcher, advanced statistical measures were put in place.

Statisticians started recording any out recorded by a pitcher who is not classified as a strikeout. This includes swinging strikeouts, dropped third strikes, and outs recorded on wild pitches. NLDS are important to monitor because they provide a picture of a pitcher’s skills and provide pitchers with credit for out’s which they may not have received had it not been recorded by statisticians.

Interesting Facts About Baseball

Baseball has evolved since the early 1990s and is filled with exciting facts and rich history. Some of these baseball facts may be familiar, but others may surprise you. Here are a few interesting facts about baseball:

  • The first major league baseball team was the Cincinnati Red Socks
  • Nolan Ryan and Cap Anderson played baseball in the major league for 27 seasons
  • Barry Bonds has the record for the most home runs in a single season
  • Six players have played in the major baseball league
  • Babe Ruth is the most valuable baseball card ever sold
  • Baseball is referred to as the “national pastime.”
  • Cuba has won the most baseball world cup medals
  • The Dodgers, Yankees, and Angels have no official mascots
  • Dodger Stadium can seat the most spectators
  • Minor league baseball players don’t earn a salary but get housing and an allowance
  • An autographed baseball by Joe DiMaggio is the most expensive autographed baseball ever sold and was sold for $191,200
  • The Yankees were the first ever to wear numbers on their clothing in 1920
  • The longest Major League Baseball game lasted 8 hours and 6 minutes
  • Alyssa Nakken was the first woman who coached in major league baseball
  • Aluminum bats are banned from the Major Baseball League
  • The most home runs achieved by one person is four
  • The least amount of people ever recorded attending a baseball game is 347
  • Fenway Park is the oldest baseball stadium in the United States
  • In a baseball season, there are 162 baseball games during a season
  • The Major League Baseball team that has the most people in the Hall Of Fame is the New York Yankees
  • “Take me out to the ballgame” is the unofficial anthem for baseball games
  • The quickest baseball game only lasted 51 minutes


In baseball, in the Major League, the National League Division Series (NLDS) decides which baseball teams will qualify to progress to the National League Championship Series (NLCS). Baseball teams will compete in a minimum of three and five games to determine the winning team. The NLDS features division winners and a wildcard team competing in the series.


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