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 best-of-five series, featuring the three division winners and the winner of the wild-card play-off.

History[edit]

The Division Series was implemented in 1981 as a one-off tournament because of a midseason strike, with the first place teams before the strike taking on the teams in first place after the strike. In 1994, it was returned permanently when Major League Baseball (MLB) restructured each league into three divisions, but with a different format than in 1981. 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). Including the 2018 postseason, the Yankees have played in the most division series, with twenty appearances. In 2015, the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros were the final American League teams to make their first appearances in the ALDS. The Astros had been in the National League through 2012, and had played in the National League Division Series (NLDS) seven times.

Determining the matchups[edit]

From 1998 to 2011, the wild card team was assigned to play 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 (or head-to-head record if there is a tie between two or more teams), except for the wild card team, which never receives the home field advantage.

Beginning in 2003, 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. 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.[1][2] Since 1998, the series has followed a 2-2-1 format, [3] 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.

ALDS results[edit]

  • Team names link to the season in which each team played
Key
dagger Wild card
Year Winner Manager Loser Manager Wins Losses
1981 New York Yankees Bob Lemon Milwaukee Brewers Buck Rodgers 3 2
Oakland Athletics Billy Martin Kansas City Royals Dick Howser 3 0
1995 Cleveland Indians Mike Hargrove Boston Red Sox Kevin Kennedy 3 0
Seattle Mariners Lou Piniella New York Yankeesdagger Buck Showalter 3 2
1996 New York Yankees Joe Torre Texas Rangers Johnny Oates 3 1
Baltimore Oriolesdagger Davey Johnson Cleveland Indians Mike Hargrove 3 1
1997 Baltimore Orioles Davey Johnson Seattle Mariners Lou Piniella 3 1
Cleveland Indians Mike Hargrove New York Yankeesdagger Joe Torre 3 2
1998 New York Yankees Joe Torre Texas Rangers Johnny Oates 3 0
Cleveland Indians Mike Hargrove Boston Red Soxdagger Jimy Williams 3 1
1999 New York Yankees Joe Torre Texas Rangers Johnny Oates 3 0
Boston Red Soxdagger Jimy Williams Cleveland Indians Mike Hargrove 3 2
2000 Seattle Marinersdagger Lou Piniella Chicago White Sox Jimy Williams 3 0
New York Yankees Joe Torre Oakland Athletics Art Howe 3 2
2001 New York Yankees Joe Torre Oakland Athleticsdagger Art Howe 3 2
Seattle Mariners Lou Piniella Cleveland Indians Charlie Manuel 3 2
2002 Minnesota Twins Ron Gardenhire Oakland Athletics Art Howe 3 2
Anaheim Angelsdagger Mike Scioscia New York Yankees Joe Torre 3 1
2003 New York Yankees Joe Torre Minnesota Twins Jimy Williams 3 1
Boston Red Soxdagger Grady Little Oakland Athletics Ken Macha 3 2
2004 New York Yankees Joe Torre Minnesota Twins Ron Gardenhire 3 1
Boston Red Soxdagger Terry Francona Anaheim Angels Mike Scioscia 3 0
2005 Chicago White Sox Ozzie Guillén Boston Red Soxdagger Terry Francona 3 0
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Mike Scioscia New York Yankees Joe Torre 3 2
2006 Detroit Tigersdagger Jim Leyland New York Yankees Joe Torre 3 1
Oakland Athletics Ken Macha Minnesota Twins Ron Gardenhire 3 0
2007 Boston Red Sox Terry Francona Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Mike Scioscia 3 0
Cleveland Indians Eric Wedge New York Yankeesdagger Joe Torre 3 1
2008 Boston Red Soxdagger Terry Francona Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Mike Scioscia 3 1
Tampa Bay Rays Joe Maddon Chicago White Sox Ozzie Guillén 3 1
2009 New York Yankees Joe Girardi Minnesota Twins Ron Gardenhire 3 0
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Mike Scioscia Boston Red Soxdagger Terry Francona 3 0
2010 Texas Rangers Ron Washington Tampa Bay Rays Joe Maddon 3 2
New York Yankeesdagger Joe Girardi Minnesota Twins Ron Gardenhire 3 0
2011 Texas Rangers Ron Washington Tampa Bay Raysdagger Joe Maddon 3 1
Detroit Tigers Jim Leyland New York Yankees Joe Girardi 3 2
2012 Detroit Tigers Jim Leyland Oakland Athletics Bob Melvin 3 2
New York Yankees Joe Girardi Baltimore Oriolesdagger Buck Showalter 3 2
2013 Detroit Tigers Jim Leyland Oakland Athletics Bob Melvin 3 2
Boston Red Sox John Farrell Tampa Bay Raysdagger Joe Maddon 3 1
2014 Baltimore Orioles Buck Showalter Detroit Tigers Brad Ausmus 3 0
Kansas City Royalsdagger Ned Yost Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Mike Scioscia 3 0
2015 Toronto Blue Jays John Gibbons Texas Rangers Jeff Banister 3 2
Kansas City Royals Ned Yost Houston Astrosdagger A. J. Hinch 3 2
2016 Cleveland Indians Terry Francona Boston Red Sox John Farrell 3 0
Toronto Blue Jaysdagger John Gibbons Texas Rangers Jeff Banister 3 0
2017 Houston Astros A. J. Hinch Boston Red Sox John Farrell 3 1
New York Yankeesdagger Joe Girardi Cleveland Indians Terry Francona 3 2
2018 Houston Astros A. J. Hinch Cleveland Indians Terry Francona 3 0
Boston Red Sox Alex Cora New York Yankeesdagger Aaron Boone 3 1

ALDS appearances[edit]

Series
appearances
Team Wins Losses Win % Most recent
win
Most recent
appearance
Games
won
Games
lost
Game
win %
20 New York Yankees 12 8 .600 2017 2018 48 35 .578
13 Boston Red Sox 7 6 .538 2018 2018 22 24 .478
11 Cleveland Indians 5 5 .500 2016 2018 22 18 .550
8 Oakland Athletics 2 6 .250 2006 2013 18 18 .500
7 Texas Rangers 2 5 .286 2011 2016 9 18 .333
7 Los Angeles Angels 3 4 .429 2009 2014 10 15 .400
6 Minnesota Twins 1 5 .167 2002 2010 5 17 .227
5 Detroit Tigers 4 1 .800 2013 2014 12 10 .545
4 Baltimore Orioles 3 1 .750 2014 2014 11 5 .688
4 Seattle Mariners 3 1 .750 2001 2001 10 7 .588
4 Tampa Bay Rays 1 3 .250 2008 2013 7 10 .412
3 Chicago White Sox 1 2 .333 2005 2008 4 6 .400
3 Kansas City Royals 2 1 .667 2015 2015 6 5 .545
3 Houston Astros 2 1 .667 2018 2018 8 4 .667
2 Toronto Blue Jays 2 0 1.000 2016 2016 6 2 .750
1 Milwaukee Brewers 0 1 .000 - 1981 2 3

.400

Recurring matchups[edit]

Count Matchup Record Years
4 Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels Red Sox, 3–1 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009
4 New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins Yankees, 4–0 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010
4 Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox Indians, 3–1 1995, 1998, 1999, 2016
3 Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees Yankees, 3–0 1996, 1998, 1999
3 Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees Indians, 2–1 1997, 2007, 2017
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 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
2 Texas Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays Blue Jays, 2–0 2015, 2016

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1984 NL Championship Series, Baseball-Reference.com
  2. ^ 1997 AL Division Series, Baseball-Reference.com
  3. ^ 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]