The National League (NL) is one of the two current major leagues in American professional baseball, the other being the American League (AL). The National League was founded in 1876 and is the older of the two leagues. The teams in the National League are divided into three divisions: the East, Central, and West.
One key difference between the American League and the National League is the use of the designated hitter (DH). In the American League, teams can use a designated hitter to bat in place of the pitcher. The National League, traditionally, didn’t use a DH, requiring pitchers to bat for themselves. However, this rule has been a subject of much debate and the MLB has been discussing and experimenting with changes.
The league’s teams compete over the course of a regular season that typically begins in early April and ends in early October. The teams with the best records from each division, along with two Wild Card teams, advance to the postseason playoffs. The playoffs culminate in the National League Championship Series, with the winner being awarded the National League Pennant and advancing to face the champion of the American League in the World Series.
Notable teams in the history of the National League include the St. Louis Cardinals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Francisco Giants, all of whom have had success both in terms of the regular season and World Series victories.