List of American League Wild Card winners
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2012)|
The wild card was established for Major League Baseball's playoffs in 1994 with the intention of helping the best teams that did not win their division to still have a chance to win the World Series. The restructuring of both the American and National Leagues from two divisions each to three made it necessary to either give one team a bye in the first round of playoffs, or create the wild card for the best second-place team. In addition, the wild card guaranteed that the team with the second best record in each league would qualify for the playoffs, even if they were in the same division with the team having the best record.
There were no division or wild-card winners in 1994, due to the 1994 Major League Baseball strike.
Beginning in 2012 a second wild card team was added to each league. The two wild card teams in each league face each other in a one game playoff, the winner advancing to meet the number one seed in the Division Series.
As of October 2013, the AL East has produced 15 of 21 wild-card teams; the AL West is second with four teams, while the AL Central has qualified two wild-card teams.
AL wild-card qualifiers by year
As of 2011, two AL wild-card teams went on to win the World Series (Anaheim in 2002 and Boston in 2004). One team won the AL pennant but lost the World Series (Detroit in 2006). Six other teams won the division series but lost the championship series.
- Team names link to the season in which each team played
* Wild Card Games are reflected by the game's score. The ALDS, ALCS and World Series results are reflected by the series' score.
** In 2013, the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays finished the season with the identical records of 91–71. A one-game playoff was held and the Rays won it 5–2 over the Rangers to capture the second Wild Card berth.
Most AL wild-card appearances
|1||Boston Red Sox||7||1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009|
|2||New York Yankees||4||1995, 1997, 2007, 2010|
|T-3||Baltimore Orioles||2||1996, 2012|
|T-3||Tampa Bay Rays||2||2011, 2013|
|T-5||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||1||2002|
- Year in which the Wild Card qualifier won the Wild Card playoff is listed in italics.
Teams' ALDS records as AL wild-card qualifier
|AL Team||Series Record|
|Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||1–0|
|Boston Red Sox||4–3|
|New York Yankees||1–3|
|Tampa Bay Rays||0–2|
- American League Division Series
- List of NL Wild Card winners
- Major League Baseball division winners (and wild-card winners)
- Wild card (sports)#Major League Baseball
- Wild card (sports)#Record disparities