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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 consist of two best-of-five series, featuring the three division winners and a wild-card team (the non-division winning team with the best record).
The Division Series was permanently created after the 1993 season when Major League Baseball restructured each league into three divisions, but their first regular playing was in 1995 due to the cancellation of the 1994 playoffs. Previously, because of a players' strike in 1981, a split-season format forced a 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 the Oakland Athletics swept the Kansas City Royals in three games in the Western Division.
Determining the matchupsEdit
Since 1998, the wild-card team has been 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 meet in the other series. 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.
Since the ALDS's inception, several pairs of opponents have met more than once. The Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox played in 1995, 1998, and 1999, and the Texas Rangers played the New York Yankees in 1996, 1998, and 1999. Also, four matchups have occurred twice, three of which involving the Yankees; they played the Oakland Athletics in 2000 and 2001, the Anaheim-LA Angels in 2002 and 2005, and the Minnesota Twins in 2003 and 2004. The Athletics and the Twins make up the fourth such occurrence, meeting in 2002 and 2006.
There is currently no award for the Most Valuable Player of the Division Series.
† indicates wild card team
- Division Series
- Division Series#Criticism of scheduling
- American League pennant winners 1901-68
- National League pennant winners 1876-1900
- National League pennant winners 1901-68
- National League Division Series (NLDS)
- American League Championship Series (ALCS)
- National League Championship Series (NLCS)
- World Series
- Baseball-Reference.com - annual playoffs
|American League Division Series|