American League East
|Sport||Major League Baseball|
|No. of teams||5|
|Most recent AL East champion(s)||
Boston Red Sox|
|Most AL East titles||New York Yankees (18)|
The American League East is one of Major League Baseball (MLB)'s six divisions (An East, Central, and West division for each of the two leagues). This division was created before the start of the 1969 season along with the American League West division. Before that time the American League (AL) had existed as a single league of 10 teams.
Four of its five teams are located in the Eastern United States, with the other in Central Canada. At the end of the MLB season, the team with the best record in the division earns one of the American League's five playoff spots. The most recent team to win this division was the Boston Red Sox in 2016.
Writers have posited that the American League East is the toughest division in MLB; during its 46-year existence, an East division team has gone on to play in the World Series 25 times, and 14 of those teams have been crowned World Series champions. Since the 1995 season when the wild-card playoff berth was introduced, the AL East has produced the wild-card team for the American League in 13 out of the 17 years (the West division three, and the Central division just one).
When the Major Leagues split into divisions for the 1969 season, the American League, unlike the National League, split its 12 teams strictly on geography. The six teams located in the Eastern Time Zone were placed in the East division, and the other six were placed in the West division.
In September 1971, American League owners approved the move of the second Washington Senators franchise to Arlington, Texas to become the Texas Rangers. The owners then debated whether the Chicago White Sox or Milwaukee Brewers should move to the East division for 1972, with the Rangers moving to the West. The White Sox requested they be moved to the East, stating they were an original American League franchise and wanted to play more games against other old-line A.L. teams, five of which were in the East.
The Oakland Athletics objected to moving the White Sox to the East; owner Charlie Finley was a Chicago native who wanted to continue to make three trips per season with his club to the Windy City. The Minnesota Twins went a step farther and objected to switching either the White Sox or Brewers. The Twins wanted to keep nearby Chicago and Milwaukee as division rivals, citing the National League's lack of geographic accuracy in forming its divisions as a reason why the Rangers should not have been shifted out of the East. The Twins also noted the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys played in the NFC East.
The White Sox' pleas fell on deaf ears, and the Brewers, who began life as the Seattle Pilots in 1969, were moved to the East.
- Baltimore Orioles – Founding member
- Boston Red Sox – Founding member
- New York Yankees – Founding member
- Tampa Bay Rays – Joined in 1998 as an expansion team (as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays)
- Toronto Blue Jays – Joined in 1977 as an expansion team
- Cleveland Indians – Founding member; moved in 1994 to the AL Central.
- Detroit Tigers – Founding member, moved in 1998 to the AL Central
- Milwaukee Brewers – Joined in 1972, stayed through 1993; then moved to the American League Central; joined National League Central in 1998
- Washington Senators – Founding member, stayed through 1971; relocated to Arlington, Texas in 1972 (becoming the Texas Rangers); moved to the AL West
The division members
|AL East Division[A]|
|Boston Red Sox|
|New York Yankees|
|Detroit Tigers [E]|
|Cleveland Indians [D]|
|Washington Senators [B]|
|Milwaukee Brewers [B] [D]|
|Toronto Blue Jays [C]|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays [E]|
|AL East Division[A]|
|Boston Red Sox|
|New York Yankees|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays||Tampa Bay Rays [F]|
|Team not in division Division Won World Series Division Won AL Championship World Series canceled due to strike|
- A Creation of six-team division (Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, NY Yankees, Washington Senators) due to 1969 expansion
- B Washington franchise moved to Dallas/Ft. Worth, became Texas Rangers and moved into AL West. Either Milwaukee or the Chicago White Sox would have had to move to the East, eventually it was decided that Milwaukee make the switch. Total teams remains at six.
- C Toronto, the seventh team, is added in 1977 expansion
- D Due to 1994 realignment, Cleveland and Milwaukee were moved to newly created AL Central. Division reduced to five teams.
- E Tampa Bay added in 1998 expansion along with the Detroit Tigers moving to AL Central. Total teams remains at five.
- F Tampa Bay Devil Rays become Tampa Bay Rays.
Champions by year
- Team names link to the season in which each team played
|1969||Baltimore Orioles||109–53||.673||Lost World Series to New York, 4–1|
|1970||Baltimore Orioles||108–54||.667||Won World Series over Cincinnati, 4–1|
|1971||Baltimore Orioles||101–57||.639||Lost World Series to Pittsburgh, 4–3|
|1972||Detroit Tigers||86–70||.551||Lost ALCS to Oakland, 3–2|
|1973||Baltimore Orioles||97–65||.599||Lost ALCS to Oakland, 3–2|
|1974||Baltimore Orioles||91–71||.562||Lost ALCS to Oakland, 3–1|
|1975||Boston Red Sox||95–65||.594||Lost World Series to Cincinnati, 4–3|
|1976||New York Yankees||97–62||.610||Lost World Series to Cincinnati, 4–0|
|1977||New York Yankees||100–62||.617||Won World Series over Los Angeles, 4–2|
|1978||New York Yankees‡||100–63||.613||Won World Series over Los Angeles, 4–2|
|1979||Baltimore Orioles||102–57||.642||Lost World Series to Pittsburgh, 4–3|
|1980||New York Yankees||103–59||.636||Lost ALCS to Kansas City, 3–0|
|1981||New York Yankees*||59–48||.551||Lost World Series to Los Angeles, 4–2|
|1982||Milwaukee Brewers||95–67||.586||Lost World Series to St. Louis, 4–3|
|1983||Baltimore Orioles||98–64||.605||Won World Series over Philadelphia, 4–1|
|1984||Detroit Tigers||104–58||.642||Won World Series over San Diego, 4–1|
|1985||Toronto Blue Jays||99–62||.615||Lost ALCS to Kansas City, 4–3|
|1986||Boston Red Sox||95–66||.590||Lost World Series to New York, 4–3|
|1987||Detroit Tigers||98–64||.605||Lost ALCS to Minnesota, 4–1|
|1988||Boston Red Sox||89–73||.549||Lost ALCS to Oakland, 4–0|
|1989||Toronto Blue Jays||89–73||.549||Lost ALCS to Oakland, 4–1|
|1990||Boston Red Sox||88–74||.543||Lost ALCS to Oakland, 4–0|
|1991||Toronto Blue Jays||91–71||.562||Lost ALCS to Minnesota, 4–1|
|1992||Toronto Blue Jays||96–66||.593||Won World Series over Atlanta, 4–2|
|1993||Toronto Blue Jays||95–67||.586||Won World Series over Philadelphia, 4–2|
|1994||Strike Shortened Season§||No Postseason|
|1995||Boston Red Sox||86–58||.597||Lost ALDS to Cleveland, 3–0|
|1996||New York Yankees||92–70||.568||Won World Series over Atlanta, 4–2|
|1997||Baltimore Orioles||98–64||.605||Lost ALCS to Cleveland, 4–2|
|1998||New York Yankees||114–48||.704||Won World Series over San Diego, 4–0|
|1999||New York Yankees||98–64||.605||Won World Series over Atlanta, 4–0|
|2000||New York Yankees||87–74||.540||Won World Series over New York, 4–1|
|2001||New York Yankees||95–65||.594||Lost World Series to Arizona, 4–3|
|2002||New York Yankees||103–58||.640||Lost ALDS to Anaheim, 3–1|
|2003||New York Yankees||101–61||.623||Lost World Series to Florida, 4–2|
|2004||New York Yankees||101–61||.623||Lost ALCS to Boston, 4–3|
|2005||New York Yankees††||95–67||.586||Lost ALDS to Los Angeles, 3–2|
|2006||New York Yankees||97–65||.599||Lost ALDS to Detroit, 3–1|
|2007||Boston Red Sox||96–66||.593||Won World Series over Colorado, 4–0|
|2008||Tampa Bay Rays||97–65||.599||Lost World Series to Philadelphia, 4–1|
|2009||New York Yankees||103–59||.636||Won World Series over Philadelphia, 4–2|
|2010||Tampa Bay Rays||96–66||.593||Lost ALDS to Texas, 3–2|
|2011||New York Yankees||97–65||.599||Lost ALDS to Detroit, 3–2|
|2012||New York Yankees||95–67||.586||Lost ALCS to Detroit, 4–0|
|2013||Boston Red Sox||97–65||.599||Won World Series over St. Louis, 4–2|
|2014||Baltimore Orioles||96–66||.593||Lost ALCS to Kansas City, 4–0|
|2015||Toronto Blue Jays||93–69||.574||Lost ALCS to Kansas City, 4–2|
|2016||Boston Red Sox||93–69||.574||Lost ALDS to Cleveland, 3–0|
‡ – In 1978, the New York Yankees ended up in a tie with the Boston Red Sox for the division championship, and won a 1-game playoff against Boston.
§ – Due to the 1994 baseball strike starting August 12, no official winner was awarded. New York was leading at the strike.
†† – The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees finished the 2005 season tied for first place with identical records. New York won the season series against Boston and was awarded the tie-breaker; Boston was awarded the wild card berth. Had a team from another division won the wild card, a one-game playoff would have decided the division champion.
AL East statistics
|Year (s)||Last Year Won||Wild Card
|AL Championship Series
|Current Teams in Division:|
|New York Yankees|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Former Teams in Division:|
Wild Card winners produced
Since the advent of the Wild Card, AL East teams have faced each other in the ALCS 5 times and the ALDS twice.
- See List of American League Wild Card winners (since 1994)
|1995||New York Yankees||79–65||.549||7||Lost ALDS to Seattle, 3–2|
|1996||Baltimore Orioles||88–74||.543||4||Lost ALCS to New York, 4–1|
|1997||New York Yankees||96–66||.593||2||Lost ALDS to Cleveland, 3–2|
|1998||Boston Red Sox||92–70||.568||22||Lost ALDS to Cleveland, 3–1|
|1999||Boston Red Sox||94–68||.580||4||Lost ALCS to New York, 4–1|
|2003||Boston Red Sox||95–67||.586||6||Lost ALCS to New York, 4–3|
|2004||Boston Red Sox||98–64||.605||3||Won World Series over St. Louis, 4–0|
|2005||Boston Red Sox||95–67||.586||0||Lost ALDS to Chicago, 3–0|
|2007||New York Yankees||94–68||.580||2||Lost ALDS to Cleveland, 3–1|
|2008||Boston Red Sox||95–67||.586||2||Lost ALCS to Tampa Bay, 4–3|
|2009||Boston Red Sox||95–67||.586||8||Lost ALDS to Los Angeles, 3–0|
|2010||New York Yankees||95–67||.586||1||Lost ALCS to Texas, 4–2|
|2011||Tampa Bay Rays||91–71||.562||6||Lost ALDS to Texas, 3–1|
|2012||Baltimore Orioles||93–69||.574||2||Lost ALDS to New York, 3–2|
|2013||Tampa Bay Rays**||92–71||.564||5.5||Lost ALDS to Boston, 3–1|
|2015||New York Yankees||87–75||.537||6||Lost ALWC to Houston|
|2016||Toronto Blue Jays**||89–73||.549||4||Lost ALCS to Cleveland, 4–1|
|Baltimore Orioles**||89–73||.549||4||Lost ALWC to Toronto|
* – Starting with the 2012 season, there will be two Wild Card winners in each league. The qualifiers will play a single-game playoff to determine who will face the top-seeded team in the American League Division Series.
** In 2013, the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays finished the season with the identical records of 91–71. A one-game playoff was held and the Rays won it 5–2 over the Rangers to capture the second Wild Card berth.
- American League Central
- American League West
- National League East
- National League Central
- National League West
- Leitch, Will. "MLB Preview: American League East". Sports on Earth. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
- Stark, Jayson. "http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/8918419/ranking-mlb-six-divisions-al-east-top". ESPN. Retrieved 15 August 2016. External link in