American League Division Series

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In Major League Baseball, the American League Division Series (ALDS) determines which two teams from the American League will advance to the American League Championship Series. The Division Series consists of two concurrent best-of-five series, featuring the three division winners and the winner of the wild-card game.

History[edit]

The Division Series was implemented in 1981 as a result of a midseason strike, with the first place teams before the strike taking on the teams in first place after the strike. After 1993, it was implemented for good when Major League Baseball restructured each league into three divisions, but their next playing was in 1995 due to the cancellation of the 1994 playoffs. In 1981, a split-season format forced the first ever divisional playoff series, in which the New York Yankees won the Eastern Division series over the Milwaukee Brewers (who were in the American League until 1998) in five games while in the Western Division, the Oakland Athletics swept the Kansas City Royals (the only team with an overall losing record to ever make the postseason). The Yankees have currently played in the most division series in history, with fifteen appearances. The Toronto Blue Jays are the only team to have never played in the ALDS and are the last team to win the World Series under the old 4 division format. The Kansas City Royals have yet to play in the ALDS since it became a postseason fixture in 1995.

Determining the matchups[edit]

From 1998 to 2011, the wild-card team was assigned to play in the division winner with the best winning percentage (outside of their own division) in one series, and the other two division winners met in the other series. However, if the wild-card team and the division winner with the best record were from the same division, the wild-card team played the division winner with the second-best record, and the remaining two division leaders played each other. Beginning with the 2012 season, the wild card team that advances to the Division Series was to face the number 1 seed, regardless of whether or not they are in the same division. The two series winners move on to the best-of-seven ALCS. Home field advantage goes to the team with the better regular season record, except for the wild card team, which never receives the home field advantage.

Beginning in 2007, MLB has implemented a new rule to give the team from the league that wins the All-Star Game with the best regular season record a slightly greater advantage.[1] In order to spread out the Division Series games for broadcast purposes, the two ALDS series follow one of two off-day schedules. Starting in 2007, after consulting the MLBPA, MLB has decided to allow the team with the best record in the league that wins the All-Star Game to choose whether to use the seven-day schedule (1-2-off-3-4-off-5) or the eight-day schedule (1-off-2-off-3-4-off-5). The team only gets to choose the schedule; the opponent is still determined by win-loss records.

Initially, the best-of-5 series played in a 2-3 format, with the first two games set at home for the lower seed team and the last three for the higher seed.[2][3] Since 1998, the series has followed a 2-2-1 format, [4] where the higher seed team plays at home in Games 1 and 2, the lower seed plays at home in Game 3 and Game 4 (if necessary), and if a Game 5 is needed, the teams return to the higher seed's field. When MLB added a second wild card team in 2012, the Division Series re-adopted the 2-3 format due to scheduling conflicts. It reverted to the 2-2-1 format in 2013.

Recurring matchups[edit]

Count Matchup Record Years
4 Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Red Sox, 3-1 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009
4 New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins Yankees, 4-0 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010
3 Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox Indians, 2-1 1995, 1998, 1999
3 Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees Yankees, 3-0 1996, 1998, 1999
2 New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics Yankees, 2-0 2000, 2001
2 New York Yankees vs. Anaheim-LA Angels Angels, 2-0 2002, 2005
2 New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians Indians, 2-0 1997, 2007
2 Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays Rangers, 2-0 2010, 2011
2 Oakland Athletics vs. Minnesota Twins Tied, 1-1 2002, 2006
2 Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees Tigers, 2-0 2006, 2011
2 Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics Tigers, 2-0 2012, 2013

ALDS results[edit]

  • Team names link to the season in which each team played
Year Winner Loser Wins Losses
1981 New York Yankees Milwaukee Brewers 3 2
Oakland Athletics Kansas City Royals 3 0
1994 Not held due to players' strike.
1995 Cleveland Indians Boston Red Sox 3 0
Seattle Mariners New York Yankees 3 2
1996 New York Yankees Texas Rangers 3 1
Baltimore Orioles Cleveland Indians 3 1
1997 Baltimore Orioles Seattle Mariners 3 1
Cleveland Indians New York Yankees 3 2
1998 New York Yankees Texas Rangers 3 0
Cleveland Indians Boston Red Sox 3 1
1999 New York Yankees Texas Rangers 3 0
Boston Red Sox Cleveland Indians 3 2
2000 Seattle Mariners Chicago White Sox 3 0
New York Yankees Oakland Athletics 3 2
2001 New York Yankees Oakland Athletics 3 2
Seattle Mariners Cleveland Indians 3 2
2002 Minnesota Twins Oakland Athletics 3 2
Anaheim Angels New York Yankees 3 1
2003 New York Yankees Minnesota Twins 3 1
Boston Red Sox Oakland Athletics 3 2
2004 New York Yankees Minnesota Twins 3 1
Boston Red Sox Anaheim Angels 3 0
2005 Chicago White Sox Boston Red Sox 3 0
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim New York Yankees 3 2
2006 Detroit Tigers New York Yankees 3 1
Oakland Athletics Minnesota Twins 3 0
2007 Boston Red Sox Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3 0
Cleveland Indians New York Yankees 3 1
2008 Boston Red Sox Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3 1
Tampa Bay Rays Chicago White Sox 3 1
2009 New York Yankees Minnesota Twins 3 0
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Boston Red Sox 3 0
2010 Texas Rangers Tampa Bay Rays 3 2
New York Yankees Minnesota Twins 3 0
2011 Texas Rangers Tampa Bay Rays 3 1
Detroit Tigers New York Yankees 3 2
2012 Detroit Tigers Oakland Athletics 3 2
New York Yankees Baltimore Orioles 3 2
2013 Detroit Tigers Oakland Athletics 3 2
Boston Red Sox Tampa Bay Rays 3 1
† indicates wild card team

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nightengale, Bob (2007-09-12). "AL's top team to pick first-round format". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-09-27. 
  2. ^ 1984 NL Championship Series, Baseball-Reference.com
  3. ^ 1997 AL Division Series, Baseball-Reference.com
  4. ^ Gillette, Gary; Palmer, Pete, eds. (2006). "October Classics: Postseason Series and Playoffs". The 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. New York: Sterling Publishing. p. 1656. 

External links[edit]