How Many Games Are in the NLDS? 5 or 7?

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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how many games are in the nlds

The NLDS (National League Division Series) is an essential part of the MLB playoffs, and fans eagerly anticipate the schedule and duration of the series. It marks a crucial stage in determining the teams advancing to the World Series.

The NLDS consists of a best-of-five series. Teams competing in the NLDS play a maximum of five games. The first team to win three games out of the five advances to the next round of the postseason.

Let’s dive deeper into how many games are in the NLDS, the format, and its notable differences with other league series.

Number of Games in the NLDS


1. Traditional NLDS format


In the NLDS series, teams compete in a best-of-five format. The divisional champion with the highest regular season winning percentage has home-field advantage. It faces the winner of the Wild Card Series involving the top two wild card teams.

Meanwhile, the divisional series baseball champion with the second-highest winning percentage hosts the winner of the other Wild Card Series, which involves the lowest-seeded divisional champion and the lowest-seeded wild card team.

From 2012 till 2021, the wild card team that progressed to the Division Series was pitted against the top-ranked team, regardless of their divisional affiliation. The winners of these two series then advanced to the NLCS, a best-of-seven series.

2. Recent changes to NLDS format


In the 2022 postseason, an exciting new format was introduced; the number of teams increased from 10 to 12.

This format brought about significant changes, and the best-of-three Wild Card Series replaced the two single-elimination Wild Card Games.

Following these intense series, the action continued with the best-of-five Division Series.

Additionally, starting from the 2022 season, a new arrangement was implemented.

The victor between the lowest-ranked wild card team and the lowest-ranked division winner now competes against the second-ranked division winner in the Division Series.

Simultaneously, the wild card winner in the 4th vs. 5th matchup faces off against the top-ranked team.

Despite the changes in matchups, there is no reseeding in the MLB Division Series. This means that even if the wild card team with the 6th seed advances, they will not be reseeded and will face the designated opponent based on their seed.

In 2023, NLDS will be best-of-five in a 2-2-1 format.

NLDS Format

Here’s the general format of the NLDS in the MLB playoffs:


Factors Affecting the Game Count


The number of games played in the NLDS can be influenced by the following key factors.

1, Best-of-Five Format

NLDS is the best of how many games? Well, the NLDS is structured as a best-of-five series, meaning that a maximum of five games can be played. The team that wins three games first advances to the next round.

2, Series Sweep

If a team wins all three games required to advance before the full five games are played, the series will end in a sweep. In this case, the NLDS would consist of fewer than five games.

3, Series Length

The NLDS series length depends on the performance of the teams and their ability to secure the required number of wins. If a game goes into extra innings, it can extend the series and potentially lead to a maximum of five games being played.

4, Rainouts, Extreme Temperatures, Poor Field Conditions, or Postponements

Inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances may lead to game postponements or rainouts. In such cases, the NLDS schedule may be adjusted, resulting in the potential for fewer games to be played within a given timeframe.

Frequently Asked Questions



The NLDS involves National League teams, while the ALDS involves American League teams. Both series follow a best-of-five format, with the first team to win three games advancing. The specific matchups and seeding differ between the NLDS and ALDS.

Additionally, there are league-specific rules, such as pitchers batting in the NLDS and the use of designated hitters in the ALDS.


  • The NLDS is the initial round of the MLB postseason, involving four National League teams in a best-of-five series.
  • The LCS is the subsequent round, featuring the winners of the NLDS and ALDS in a best-of-seven series to determine the league champions and World Series contenders.

In the NLCS, the teams battle it out in a thrilling best-of-seven series, where the ultimate question is: How many games to win?

The team that emerges victorious in four games will earn the coveted spot in the World Series.

NLDS vs. World Series

  • The NLDS is the initial round of the MLB postseason, featuring four National League teams in a best-of-five series.
  • The World Series is the ultimate stage of the playoffs, where the champions of the National League and American League compete in a best-of-seven series to determine the MLB champion for that season.

Is the NLDS best-of-five or 7 games?

The NLDS is a best-of-five series. It showcases the division winners and wild card teams battling it out in a thrilling best-of-five showdown to win a spot in the MLB playoffs.

When was the first NLDS?

The first NLDS was in 1981. The Los Angeles Dodgers emerged as the winners, defeating the Houston Astros three games to two.

Where are NLDS played?

The NLDS games are played at the home ballparks of the teams involved. The higher-seeded team in each series generally has the advantage of hosting the first two games and potentially a decisive Game 5 if necessary. The specific locations of the NLDS games can vary depending on the teams involved and their regular-season records.

Who won the NLDS MVP in 2022?

It’s  Paul Edward Goldschmidt. He is the first baseman of the St. Louis Cardinals and is also a seven-time MLB All-Star.

When will be the 2023 MLB playoffs?

The start of the 2023 MLB playoffs is set for Tuesday, October 3, and will continue until Wednesday, October 25.

Is the NLCS best of 5 games or 7?

The NLCS is a best-of-seven series, meaning teams compete to win four games out of seven. The NLCS schedule will kick off on October 18, 2023.


In a thrilling journey towards baseball glory, the NLDS takes center stage! Recently, there have been changes in how many games are in the NLDS, making it an even more electrifying experience.

Brace yourself for the heart-pumping showdowns as teams battle it out in a best-of-five format, vying to win three games and secure their ticket to the ultimate quest of winning in the World Series.

So, mark your calendars and stay tuned for the eagerly anticipated NLDS schedule and duration. Get ready to witness the drama, intensity, and triumph unfold in this captivating chapter of MLB’s postseason saga!

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