American League Division Series

In Major League Baseball, the American League Division Series (ALDS) determines which teams will play in the American League Championship Series (ALCS). It is played in a best-of-five format.

History

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. 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 eighteen appearances. In 2015 the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros became the last teams to make their first appearance in the ALDS. The Astros had been in the National League until switching to the American League in 2013 and had previously made the NLDS 7 times.

Determining the matchups

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 (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

  • Team names link to the season in which each team played
Year Winner Manager Loser Manager Wins Losses
1981 New York YankeesBob LemonMilwaukee BrewersBuck Rodgers 32
Oakland AthleticsBilly MartinKansas City RoyalsDick Howser 30
1995 Cleveland IndiansMike HargroveBoston Red SoxKevin Kennedy 30
Seattle MarinersLou PiniellaNew York YankeesBuck Showalter 32
1996 New York YankeesJoe TorreTexas RangersJohnny Oates 31
Baltimore OriolesDavey JohnsonCleveland IndiansMike Hargrove 31
1997 Baltimore OriolesDavey JohnsonSeattle MarinersLou Piniella 31
Cleveland IndiansMike HargroveNew York YankeesJoe Torre 32
1998 New York YankeesJoe TorreTexas RangersJohnny Oates 30
Cleveland IndiansMike HargroveBoston Red SoxJimy Williams 31
1999 New York YankeesJoe TorreTexas RangersJohnny Oates 30
Boston Red SoxJimy WilliamsCleveland IndiansMike Hargrove 32
2000 Seattle MarinersLou PiniellaChicago White SoxJimy Williams 30
New York YankeesJoe TorreOakland AthleticsArt Howe 32
2001 New York YankeesJoe TorreOakland AthleticsArt Howe 32
Seattle MarinersLou PiniellaCleveland IndiansCharlie Manuel 32
2002 Minnesota TwinsRon GardenhireOakland AthleticsArt Howe 32
Anaheim AngelsMike SciosciaNew York YankeesJoe Torre 31
2003 New York YankeesJoe TorreMinnesota TwinsJimy Williams 31
Boston Red SoxGrady LittleOakland AthleticsKen Macha 32
2004 New York YankeesJoe TorreMinnesota TwinsRon Gardenhire 31
Boston Red SoxTerry FranconaAnaheim AngelsMike Scioscia 30
2005 Chicago White SoxOzzie GuillénBoston Red SoxTerry Francona 30
Los Angeles Angels of AnaheimMike SciosciaNew York YankeesJoe Torre 32
2006 Detroit TigersJim LeylandNew York YankeesJoe Torre 31
Oakland AthleticsKen MachaMinnesota TwinsRon Gardenhire 30
2007 Boston Red SoxTerry FranconaLos Angeles Angels of AnaheimMike Scioscia 30
Cleveland IndiansEric WedgeNew York YankeesJoe Torre 31
2008 Boston Red SoxTerry FranconaLos Angeles Angels of AnaheimMike Scioscia 31
Tampa Bay RaysJoe MaddonChicago White SoxOzzie Guillén 31
2009 New York YankeesJoe GirardiMinnesota TwinsRon Gardenhire 30
Los Angeles Angels of AnaheimMike SciosciaBoston Red SoxTerry Francona 30
2010 Texas RangersRon WashingtonTampa Bay RaysJoe Maddon 32
New York YankeesJoe GirardiMinnesota TwinsRon Gardenhire 30
2011 Texas RangersRon WashingtonTampa Bay RaysJoe Maddon 31
Detroit TigersJim LeylandNew York YankeesJoe Girardi 32
2012 Detroit TigersJim LeylandOakland AthleticsBob Melvin 32
New York YankeesJoe GirardiBaltimore OriolesBuck Showalter 32
2013 Detroit TigersJim LeylandOakland AthleticsBob Melvin 32
Boston Red SoxJohn FarrellTampa Bay RaysJoe Maddon 31
2014 Baltimore OriolesBuck ShowalterDetroit TigersBrad Ausmus 30
Kansas City RoyalsNed YostLos Angeles Angels of AnaheimMike Scioscia 30
2015 Toronto Blue JaysJohn GibbonsTexas RangersJeff Banister 32
Kansas City RoyalsNed YostHouston AstrosA. J. Hinch 32
2016 Cleveland IndiansTerry FranconaBoston Red SoxJohn Farrell 30
Toronto Blue JaysJohn GibbonsTexas RangersJeff Banister 30
2017 Houston AstrosA. J. HinchBoston Red SoxJohn Farrell 31
New York YankeesJoe GirardiCleveland IndiansTerry Francona 32

ALDS Appearances

Series
appearances
Team Wins Losses Win % Most recent
win
Most recent
appearance
Games
won
Games
lost
Game
win %
Most Recent
game win
19New York Yankees127.632201720174734.5802017
12Boston Red Sox66.500201320172024.4552017
9Cleveland Indians54.556201620172215.5952017
8Oakland Athletics26.250200620131818.5002013
7Texas Rangers25.28620112016918.3332015
7Los Angeles Angels34.429200920141015.4002009
6Minnesota Twins15.16720022010517.2272004
5Detroit Tigers41.800201320141210.5452013
4Baltimore Orioles31.75020142014115.6882014
4Seattle Mariners31.75020012001107.5882001
4Tampa Bay Rays13.25020082013710.4122013
3Chicago White Sox12.3332005200846.4002008
3Kansas City Royals21.6672015201565.5452015
2Toronto Blue Jays201.0002016201662.7502016
2Houston Astros11.5002017201754.5562017
1Milwaukee Brewers01.000-198123.4001981

Recurring matchups

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

References

  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.
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