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List of American League Wild Card winners

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

American League Wild Card
SportMajor League Baseball
LeagueAmerican League
Established1994 (1 team)
Expanded2012 (2 teams)
Most times8: Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees
Most recent2021: Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees

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.[1] The restructuring of both the American League and National League from two to three divisions each 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. As the 1994 postseason was canceled due to the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike, 1995 was the first postseason with a wild card team.

Beginning in 2012, a second wild card team was added to each league.[2] The two wild card teams in each league face each other in a one-game playoff, the Wild Card Game, with the winner advancing to meet the number one seed in the Division Series.

For the 2020 postseason only, the field expanded to include three second-place teams per division, followed by the wild card teams represented by the next two best records from each league.[3] All eight teams played in a best-of-three Wild Card Series.[3]

AL Wild Card qualifiers by year

Through the 2021 postseason, there have been a total of 37 AL wild card teams (one each season during 1995–2011, and two each season since 2012). The AL East has produced 24, the AL Central five, and the AL West eight. The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees have been a wild card qualifier a record eight times each.

Through the 2020 postseason, two AL wild card teams have gone on win the World Series (Anaheim in 2002 and Boston in 2004), two teams won the AL pennant but lost the World Series (Detroit in 2006 and Kansas City in 2014), and eight other teams won a division series but lost the championship series, most recently the Yankees in 2017.

Year Winner Record % Playoff Results
Original Format
1995 New York Yankees 79–65 .549 Lost ALDS (Mariners) 3–2
1996 Baltimore Orioles 88–74 .543 Won ALDS (Indians) 3–1
Lost ALCS (Yankees) 4–1
1997 New York Yankees 96–66 .593 Lost ALDS (Indians) 3–2
1998 Boston Red Sox 92–70 .568 Lost ALDS (Indians) 3–1
1999 Boston Red Sox 94–68 .580 Won ALDS (Indians) 3–2
Lost ALCS (Yankees) 4–1
2000 Seattle Mariners 91–71 .562 Won ALDS (White Sox) 3–0
Lost ALCS (Yankees) 4–2
2001 Oakland Athletics 102–60 .630 Lost ALDS (Yankees) 3–2
2002 Anaheim Angels 99–63 .611 Won ALDS (Yankees) 3–1
Won ALCS (Twins) 4–1
Won World Series (Giants) 4–3
2003 Boston Red Sox 95–67 .586 Won ALDS (Athletics) 3–2
Lost ALCS (Yankees) 4–3
2004 Boston Red Sox 98–64 .605 Won ALDS (Angels) 3–0
Won ALCS (Yankees) 4–3
Won World Series (Cardinals) 4–0
2005 Boston Red Sox 95–67 .586 Lost ALDS (White Sox) 3–0
2006 Detroit Tigers 95–67 .586 Won ALDS (Yankees) 3–1
Won ALCS (Athletics) 4–0
Lost World Series (Cardinals) 4–1
2007 New York Yankees 94–68 .580 Lost ALDS (Indians) 3–1
2008 Boston Red Sox 95–67 .586 Won ALDS (Angels) 3–1
Lost ALCS (Rays) 4–3
2009 Boston Red Sox 95–67 .586 Lost ALDS (Angels) 3–0
2010 New York Yankees 95–67 .586 Won ALDS (Twins) 3–0
Lost ALCS (Rangers) 4–2
2011 Tampa Bay Rays 91–71 .562 Lost ALDS (Rangers) 3–1
Expanded Format
2012 Texas Rangers 93–69 .574 Lost ALWC (Orioles)
Baltimore Orioles 93–69 .574 Won ALWC (Rangers)
Lost ALDS (Yankees) 3–2
2013 Cleveland Indians 92–70 .568 Lost ALWC (Rays)
Tampa Bay Rays 92–71 .564 Won ALWC (Indians)
Lost ALDS (Red Sox) 3–1
2014 Kansas City Royals 89–73 .549 Won ALWC (Athletics)
Won ALDS (Angels) 3–0
Won ALCS (Orioles) 4–0
Lost World Series (Giants) 4–3
Oakland Athletics 88–74 .543 Lost ALWC (Royals)
2015 New York Yankees 87–75 .537 Lost ALWC (Astros)
Houston Astros 86–76 .531 Won ALWC (Yankees)
Lost ALDS (Royals) 3–2
2016 Toronto Blue Jays 89–73 .549 Won ALWC (Orioles)
Won ALDS (Rangers) 3–0
Lost ALCS (Indians) 4–1
Baltimore Orioles 89–73 .549 Lost ALWC (Blue Jays)
2017 New York Yankees 91–71 .562 Won ALWC (Twins)
Won ALDS (Indians) 3–2
Lost ALCS (Astros) 4–3
Minnesota Twins 85–77 .525 Lost ALWC (Yankees)
2018 New York Yankees 100–62 .617 Won ALWC (Athletics)
Lost ALDS (Red Sox) 3–1
Oakland Athletics 97–65 .599 Lost ALWC (Yankees)
2019 Oakland Athletics 97–65 .599 Lost ALWC (Rays)
Tampa Bay Rays 96–66 .593 Won ALWC (Athletics)
Lost ALDS (Astros) 3–2
2020 Chicago White Sox 35–25 .583 Lost ALWC (Athletics) 2–1
Toronto Blue Jays 32–28 .533 Lost ALWC (Rays) 2–0
2021 Boston Red Sox 92–70 .568 Won ALWC (Yankees)
Won ALDS (Rays) 3–1
Lost ALCS (Astros) 4–2
New York Yankees 92–70 .568 Lost ALWC (Red Sox)

Most AL Wild Card appearances

Rank Team Total Year(s)
T-1 New York Yankees 8 1995, 1997, 2007, 2010, 2015, 2017–2018, 2021
T-1 Boston Red Sox 8 1998–1999, 2003–2005, 2008–2009, 2021
3 Oakland Athletics 4 2001, 2014, 2018–2019
T-4 Baltimore Orioles 3 1996, 2012, 2016
T-4 Tampa Bay Rays 3 2011, 2013, 2019
6 Toronto Blue Jays 2 2016, 2020
T-7 Chicago White Sox 1 2020
T-7 Cleveland Indians 1 2013
T-7 Detroit Tigers 1 2006
T-7 Houston Astros 1 2015
T-7 Kansas City Royals 1 2014
T-7 Los Angeles Angels 1 2002
T-7 Minnesota Twins 1 2017
T-7 Seattle Mariners 1 2000
T-7 Texas Rangers 1 2012

Notes:

  • The Los Angeles Angels were known as the Anaheim Angels during 1997–2004.
  • The Houston Astros competed in the National League before 2013.

See also

References

  1. ^ Jayson Stark (March 2, 2012). "The new MLB postseason". ESPN.com.
  2. ^ "Year In Review : 2012 American League". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "MLB expands playoffs to 16 teams for shortened 2020 season, adds best-of-three Wild Card Series". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2020-07-24.
This page was last edited on 23 October 2021, at 03:41
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