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American League Championship Series (ALCS)

The American League Championship Series is a Best of Seven matchup with the winner advancing to the World Series. The series features the two best teams in the American League as determined by the Wild Card round that proceeded it.

ALCS is a baseball term that gets thrown around a lot on TV because no one wants to keep repeating American League Championship Series.

When Does the ALCS Occur?

The ALCS is played between the Wild Card round and the World Series. This is usually during the second and third weeks of October in a typical season.

ALCS FAQs

How many games in the ACLS?

The ACLS is a Best-of-Seven series. This means that the first team to win four games will advance. That can happen in a 4-0 sweep, or, the series can play out over all seven games with the winner being determined in the final game.

The ALCS, in its inception, was a Best-of-Five series. This was back in the late 1960s.

Dusty Baker, manager of the ALCS-winning Houston Astros in 2022
Dusty Baker, Manager of the Houston Astros | Photo Credit to Sandiegouniontribune.com

Who played in the 2022 ALCS?

The Houston Astros and the New York Yankees played in the 2022 American League Championship Series. The Houston Astros won, sweeping the Yankees 4-0 on their way to the World Series.

One of the hottest topics in the 2022 ACLS was the question of why Dusty Baker wears gloves. Is it a clever way to deflect the Astros's scandalous past, or is it a way for him to prevent the spread of COVID? Anyway, the announcers loved to bring it up.

Who won ALCS MVP honors in 2022?

Jeremy Peña was named the MVP of the 2022 American League Championship Series due mainly to his timely hitting. Jeremy went 6 for 17 with two homers and two doubles in the series.

No player has ever won the ALCS MVP award more than once.

Who has the most ALCS victories?

The New York Yankees have won the American League Championship Series the most, with 11 victories. While this should come to no surprise as the Yankees have won the most Pennants as well as the most World Series, the ALCS wasn't part of the playoffs until 1969. Even still, it was a Best-of-Five series when it was implemented.

Have any Wild Card teams advanced to the ALCS?

Yes, Wild Card teams have played in the ALCS. The Baltimore Orioles advanced to the ALCS from the Wild Card in 1996. They were the first to do so according to Baseball Almanac.

William Harridge, the former President of the American League holding a baseball
William Harridge, namesake of the ALCS Trophy | Photo Credit to Baseballhall.org

What trophy is awarded to the victors?

The William Harridge Trophy. Harridge, an elected member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, served as the President of the American League for 28 years. In some ways, you could consider him the commissioner of the AL.

The William Harridge Trophy is not among the most expensive trophies in sports.

Which manager(s) have won the ALCS the most times?

Which manager(s) have lost the ALCS the most times?

Which manager(s) have been in the most ALCS?

ALCS Results

Check out the wonderful stats at Baseball Reference for a complete breakdown of games and stats on a year-by-year basis during the playoffs.

Year Winning Team W/L Losing Team
1969Baltimore Orioles3–0Minnesota Twins
1970Baltimore Orioles3–0Minnesota Twins
1971Baltimore Orioles3–0Oakland Athletics
1972Oakland Athletics3–2Detroit Tigers
1973Oakland Athletics3–2Baltimore Orioles
1974Oakland Athletics3–1Baltimore Orioles
1975Boston Red Sox3–0Oakland Athletics
1976New York Yankees3–2Kansas City Royals
1977New York Yankees3–2Kansas City Royals
1978New York Yankees3–1Kansas City Royals
1979Baltimore Orioles3–1California Angels
1980Kansas City Royals3–0New York Yankees
1981New York Yankees3–0Oakland Athletics
1982Milwaukee Brewers3–2California Angels
1983Baltimore Orioles3–1Chicago White Sox
1984Detroit Tigers3–0Kansas City Royals
1985Kansas City Royals4–3Toronto Blue Jays
1986Boston Red Sox4–3California Angels
1987Minnesota Twins4–1Detroit Tigers
1988Oakland Athletics4–0Boston Red Sox
1989Oakland Athletics4–1Toronto Blue Jays
1990Oakland Athletics4–0Boston Red Sox
1991Minnesota Twins4–1Toronto Blue Jays
1992Toronto Blue Jays4–2Oakland Athletics
1993Toronto Blue Jays4–2Chicago White Sox
1994Players' Strike of 1994
1995Cleveland Indians4–2Seattle Mariners
1996New York Yankees4–1Baltimore Orioles
1997Cleveland Indians4–2Baltimore Orioles
1998New York Yankees4–2Cleveland Indians
1999New York Yankees4–1Boston Red Sox
2000New York Yankees4–2Seattle Mariners
2001New York Yankees4–1Seattle Mariners
2002Anaheim Angels4–1Minnesota Twins
2003New York Yankees4–3Boston Red Sox
2004Boston Red Sox4–3New York Yankees
2005Chicago White Sox4–1Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2006Detroit Tigers4–0Oakland Athletics
2007Boston Red Sox4–3Cleveland Indians
2008Tampa Bay Rays4–3Boston Red Sox
2009New York Yankees4–2Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2010Texas Rangers4–2New York Yankees
2011Texas Rangers4–2Detroit Tigers
2012Detroit Tigers4–0New York Yankees
2013Boston Red Sox4–2Detroit Tigers
2014Kansas City Royals4–0Baltimore Orioles
2015Kansas City Royals4–2Toronto Blue Jays
2016Cleveland Indians4–1Toronto Blue Jays
2017Houston Astros4–3New York Yankees
2018Boston Red Sox4–1Houston Astros
2019Houston Astros4–2New York Yankees
2020Tampa Bay Rays4–3Houston Astros
2021Houston Astros4–2Boston Red Sox
2022Houston Astros4–0New York Yankees

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