We have looked back at the 2022 season as well as looking ahead to the 2023 MLB season and concentrated on the American League, who will be successful and land the ALCS in 2023? and who will top their divisions?
In this blog we will be focusing on the American League in the MLB, we will be looking ahead to the 2023 season, looking at what exactly the American League is and looking at the teams competing to win the East, Central and West leagues in 2023.
In this blog you will find:
As we head into the 2023 season of the MLB, it is the most successful team, the New York Yankees who have won twenty-seven of the forty world series that they have featured in and have won this American League a total of forty times who we would expect to be towards the head of the market to land another AL Pennant but that would be their first in fourteen years as they have not won the American League since 2009. Remember to head over to the MLB free picks predictions from the expert OLBG baseball handicappers throughout the season for not only American League predictions but also daily MLB picks from the National League too as well as outright picks for the World Series winners.
The most successful recent team is the Houston Astros and they will more than likely be the bookie's favourite pre-season, they have made the last six American League Championship Series, winning in 2017, 2019, 2021 & 2022 and interestingly the last six pennant series have been competed by teams from either the East or West divisions which do not speak well for the five teams in the Central division whilst a team from the East has made the last eleven pennant series. Only Five of the last twelve winners of the AL Pennant have gone on to win the world series, the Boston Red Sox (2013 & 2018), Kansas City Royals (2015) and the Houston Astros (2017 & 2022) which is a low number considering nine of the previous fourteen (1996-2009) went on to win the world series!
Will the Astros make it to a seventh consecutive American League Championship Series in 2023 and extend their record for most consecutive AL Championship Series appearances?
Since the Yankees won four in a row between 1998 & 2001, only two teams have won back-to-back American League Championship Series, the Texas Rangers in 2010 & 2011 and the Kansas City Royals in 2014 & 2015, the Houston Astros achieved that in 2022 and are now looking for three on the bounce. The Astros, who have made the last six AL championship series will be looking to extend their record having broken the record held by Oakland for most consecutive series in 2021, the Athletics featured in five between 1971-75 which the Astros broke in 2021 and they are now only one short of the overall record which is held by the Braves who made eight NL championship series in the 90s.
|MLB American League 21 Mar @ 17:20 - Win League|
|TOR Blue Jays||5.25|
We saw the first ALCS whitewash since 2014 when the Royals swept the Orioles 4-0, last season it was the Astros who landed their fourth pennant in just six years with a 4-0 win over the Yankees.
They took advantage of having home field in the opening two games by winning 4-2 & 3-2 which meant they headed to New York with a 2-0 lead and then beat the Yankees in their own backyard 5-0 & 6-5 to clinch the series.
The American League is one of the two leagues which make up the MLB, it contains a total of fifteen teams, fourteen of which come from the US with the other coming from Canada, that one team is the Toronto Blue Jays. The league was established in 1901, some twenty-five years after the creation of the National League, before becoming the American League, it was a minor league that consisted of teams from states mainly from around the great lakes and was known as the Western League.
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When first created, there was a total of eight teams in this league, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Washington, these eight teams are known as the 'Classic Eight' although only four of them (Boston, Chicago, Cleveland & Detroit) still play in their original city, Baltimore were broke up in 1902 or moved to New York as there is no defining fact on this, Milwaukee moved to St Louis and then to Baltimore, Philadelphia moved to Kansas and then Oakland whilst Washington moved to Minnesota.
In 1961 the league expanded to ten teams with both the LA Angels and Washington Senators joining the league, the Washington Senators moved in 1972 and became the Texas Rangers, in 1969 both the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Pilots expanded the league to twelve teams, a year later the Pilots moved to Milwaukee to become the Milwaukee Brewers and transferred to the National League. The league was further expanded in 1977 to thirteen teams with the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays joining and then in 1998 the Tampa Bay Devil Rays joined taking the number of teams up to fourteen, they later changed their name to the Tampa Bay Rays. The final change came in 2013 when the Houston Astros transferred over from the National League taking the total number of teams to fifteen.
The Yankees have twenty divisional titles to their name, their last success came in 2022 but that was also only their second since 2012, in more recent times it is the Boston Red Sox who have done well, in total they have ten divisional titles with four of those coming since 2013, they won three on the bounce between 2016-18 and both the 2016 & 2018 victories were on route to winning the world series, their record is 4-2 in the World Series after winning the divisional title, the Yankees is 7-4 whilst the Orioles is 2-3 so when the winner gets to the world series they have a decent record, in fact, overall the record is 16-11.
Since 1998, that is twenty-four seasons, thirty-six of the forty-eight top two spots have been filled by either the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox, which works out as 75% of the top two positions being filled by either of those two teams! Tampa has featured seven times, Toronto three times and Baltimore twice so when deciding who wins the East, the Yankees and Red Sox are usually the two to consider.
The Baltimore Orioles were part of the "Classic Eight" in 1901 when they joined the league as the Milwaukee Brewers, a year later in 1902 they moved to St. Louis to become the Browns where they stayed until 1954 when they moved to Baltimore. They are known as "The O's" and have played their home games at the Oriole Park at Camden Yards since 1992, they have won three world series (1966, 1970 & 1983) and have a total of nine East Division titles to their name.
Another member of the "Classic Eight" and one of only four teams in the league who joined the league in 1901 and are still playing in the same city, they were originally known as the Boston Americans but changed that to the Boston Red Sox in 1908, they have been playing at Fenway Park since 1912 having played at Huntington Avenue Grounds prior to that. They have won a total of nine world series (1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 2004, 2007, 2013 & 2018) and have won the East Division on ten occasions.
There is some uncertainty over the history of the Yankees, some say the original Baltimore Orioles became the New York Highlanders, and others say they were replaced but by any which way it came about, the New York Highlanders came on the scene in 1903 and then in 1913, they dropped the Highlanders nickname and went with the New York Yankees. They play their home games at the Yankee Stadium and have done so since 2009 having previously played at the original Yankee Stadium. They have secured a total of twenty East Division titles and have won the World Series a total of twenty-seven times making them the most successful franchise in the MLB.
It was only in 1998 that Tampa had a baseball team with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays joining the league, in 2008 that name was shortened to Tampa Bay Rays. They have always played their home games at the Tropicana Field, a domed stadium situated in St. Petersburg, Florida, they are yet to win a World Series in their short time as a team but they have picked up four East Division titles in that time, they made the World Series in both 2008 when losing 4-1 to the Phillies and again in 2020 when losing 4-2 to the Dodgers.
The Toronto Blue Jays are the only Canadian team in the American League having joined the league in 1977, since 1989 they played their home games at the Rogers Center but in the 2020 season, they actually played at the Sahlen Field in Buffalo. They won back-to-back world series in 1992 & 1993, those are their only two world series wins and their only two world series appearances meaning they have a 100% record, they have won the East Division on a total of six occasions.
The Central Division was only created in 1994 and first used in 1995, four of the five teams are founding members of the division whilst the Detroit Tigers joined in 1998 when the Milwaukee Brewers left to join the NL Central. The Cleveland Guardians have been the most successful team with a total of eleven divisional wins and they won three of those in consecutive years between 2016-18, they were runner-up in all the following three years before winning it again in 2022. Minnesota has the next-best record with a total of eight wins, they won two on the bounce but the Chicago White Sox ended that run in 2021.
With Minnesota and Cleveland so dominating over the past few years, they had been 1-2 every year since 2017 until the Chicago White Sox topped the division in 2021, Minnesota was disappointing to finish bottom of the division, but they bounced back to finish third in 2022 and obviously, the consistency of Cleveland will have them thereabouts too.
One of the "Classic Eight" and one of the four originals to still be playing in the same city, they played in the West Division (2 titles) between 1969-93 and have been in the Central Division since 1994. The White Sox play their home games at Guaranteed Rate Field and have done since 1991, they are three-time world series champions (1906, 1917 & 2005) with their win in 2005 ending an eighty-eight-year wait for a world series win! They have also won in total six divisional titles.
The Cleveland Guardians last featured in the world series in 2016 but you have to go back to 1948 to find their last world series win, they have only won it twice, once in 1948 and also in 1920. They played in the East Division between 1969-1993 but since 1994 have been part of the Central Division and they play their home games at the Progressive Field. They have undergone numerous name changes over the years, originally called the Grand Rapids Rustlers, they changed to Cleveland in 1900 but with different nicknames, Lake Shores (1900), Bluebirds (1901), Broncos (1902), Naps (1903-14), the Indians since 1915 and then for the 2022 season onwards, they would be known as the Guardians.
The Tigers have brought in AJ Hinch in an attempt to revive the team, considering that the 2017, 2018 & 2019 seasons are all ranked in the top 10 of worst seasons in the Tiger's history, things needed to change especially with their 2020 season ending with a record of 23-35. The Tigers have been part of the Central Division since 1998, prior to that they were in the East (3 titles), and they have played their home games at Comerica Park since 2000. When most baseball fans think of Detroit Tigers, the one player that springs to mind is Ty Cobb who they signed as an eighteen-year-old, he went on to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
Originally part of the West, the KC Royals joined the Central division in 1994, the two-time world series winners play their home games at the Kauffman Stadium which has been their home since 1973. In their time in the Central Division, the Royals have only ever picked up one division title which was back in 2015, the same year as when they went on to win their second world series with the first coming back in 1985, they did, however, pick up six titles in the West during their time in that division.
The Minnesota Twins moved from the West in 1994, having picked up four titles in the West, they have added another eight division titles to their name in the Central, they are three-time world series champions but it was back in 1991 that they last won. They were originally a team based in Washington, known as the Nationals and Senators before moving to Minnesota in 1961, since 2010 they have played their home games at the Target Field stadium after moving from the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
The West is probably one of the most competitive divisions in the American League although the recent form of Houston and Oakland have seen those two teams begin to find some dominance. The Houston Astros only joined the division in 2013 but have already picked up five titles having won it three years on the bounce between 2017-19 and then again in both 2021 & 2022. Oakland won it in 2020 and was runner-up to the Astros both years prior, they hold the record for titles with a total of seventeen although their 2020 success was their first since 2013.
The LA Angels have recorded nine titles whilst the Texas Rangers have seven titles, you can see why this is considered one of the most competitive divisions, even the Mariners have three wins to their name. The AL West is not really a division where you want to follow the winner into the playoffs, since 1992 the winner has gone on to win the world series just twice, both times being the Astros in 2017 & 2022, only four others have made it to the world series, all losing, seventeen of them have lost in in the American League Division Series which is the first round of the playoffs!
The Houston Astros have moved around a bit, originally in the National League West between 1969-93 (3 titles), they then moved to the NL Central between 1994-2012 (4 titles) but in 2013 again switched, not only divisions but leagues also when they moved to the American League West (5 titles). They won their second world series in 2022 having previously won it in 2017, they were previously beaten in 2005 and have been beaten again in 2019. They have played their home games at Minute Maid Park since 2000, they were originally called the Colt .45s but changed to the Astros in 1965.
Whilst always being known as the 'Angels' they have been known under different area names in the past, they were in Los Angeles between 1961-65, then in California between 1965-1996, Anaheim in 1997-2004 and then back to Los Angeles since 2005. However, since 1966 they have had a permanent home, the Angel Stadium which is in Anaheim, their only world series success came in 2002 when defeating the San Francisco Giants 4-3, the appearance has been their one and only world series appearance.
Started off in Philadelphia as the Athletics from 1901 where they remained until 1955 when they moved to Kansas City, their final move came in 1968 when moving to the now-based Oakland where they play at the Oakland Coliseum which was also home to the Oakland Raiders prior to their move to Las Vegas. They have a total of nine world series but it has been some time since their last with that coming back in 1989, they lost the following year in 1990 and that was their last appearance in the world series.
The Seattle Mariners joined the MLB in 1977 playing their home games at the Kingdome, a stadium that they left during the 1999 season, the stadium was demolished a year later with the new Seahawks stadium being built on the site, the Mariners have played at the T-Mobile Park since 1999. The Mariners have struggled to make any sort of impact on the league, they are yet to make it to a world series, and they have made it to three league championship series (1995, 2000 & 2001) but lost all three of those, they do have three West Division titles to their name for wins in 1995, 1997 & 2001.
Between 1961 & 1971 the team was based in Washington, known as the Washington Senators but in 1972 moved to Texas and since then have been known as the Texas Rangers. They have had multiple homes over the years and at the beginning of the 2020 season, they moved into their new home, the Glove Life Field stadium which is a stone's throw from the Dallas Cowboys home stadium. They are another who has never won a world series despite making back-to-back appearances in 2010 & 2011 when losing both times, they have a total of seven west division titles to their name.
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