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The American League Central is one of three divisions in Major League Baseball's American League. The division was formed in the 1994 realignment. Its teams are all located in the Midwestern United States. It is currently the only division in the MLB where all of its members have won the World Series at least once (though only one team has won the World Series as a member of the AL Central).

Contents

Division membership

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Current members

Division lineups

Time period Lineup Changes from previous setup
1994–1997 Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins Creation of division due to 1994 realignment (Chicago, Kansas City and Minnesota from AL West, Cleveland and Milwaukee from AL East)
1998–present Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins Due to 1998 expansion, Detroit moved in from AL East and Milwaukee switched leagues, moving into NL Central

AL Central champions by year

Since its inception, the Chicago White Sox are the only team from the AL Central division to have won the World Series.

Year Winner Record % Playoff finish
1994 (through August 11) Chicago White Sox§ 67–46 .593 No Playoffs
1995 (starting April 25, 144 G) Cleveland Indians 100–44 .694 Lost World Series to Atlanta, 4–2
1996 Cleveland Indians 99–62 .615 Lost ALDS to Baltimore, 3–1
1997 Cleveland Indians 86–75 .534 Lost World Series to Florida, 4–3
1998 Cleveland Indians 89–73 .549 Lost ALCS to New York, 4–2
1999 Cleveland Indians 97–65 .599 Lost ALDS to Boston, 3–2
2000 Chicago White Sox 95–67 .586 Lost ALDS to Seattle, 3–0
2001 Cleveland Indians 91–71 .562 Lost ALDS to Seattle, 3–2
2002 Minnesota Twins 94–67 .584 Lost ALCS to Anaheim, 4–1
2003 Minnesota Twins 90–72 .556 Lost ALDS to New York, 3–1
2004 Minnesota Twins 92–70 .568 Lost ALDS to New York, 3–1
2005 Chicago White Sox 99–63 .611 Won World Series over Houston, 4–0
2006 Minnesota Twins 96–66 .593 Lost ALDS to Oakland, 3–0
2007 Cleveland Indians 96–66 .593 Lost ALCS to Boston 4–3
2008 Chicago White Sox** 89–74 .546 Lost ALDS to Tampa Bay 3–1
2009 Minnesota Twins# 87–76 .534 Lost ALDS to New York, 3–0

§ Due to the players' strike starting August 12, no official winner was awarded. Chicago was leading at the strike.
** In 2008, the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox finished the season with identical records of 88–74. Chicago won a one-game playoff at U.S. Cellular Field against Minnesota 1–0 to clinch the division title.
# In 2009, the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers finished the season with identical records of 86-76. The Twins won a one-game playoff at the Metrodome 6-5 in 12 innings to clinch the division title.

Wild-card winners produced

The Central division was the last division in baseball to produce a wild-card team that actually competed in the playoffs — in 2006 — 12 years after its creation. (In 1994, the AL's first wild-card team — the Indians — did not play, because there were no postseason playoffs that year.) On September 24, 2006, a victory by the Twins guaranteed the wild card would come from the division, eliminating the Red Sox of the American League East from wild-card contention and ending a three-year streak of wild-card appearances by the Red Sox. The Twins eliminated the White Sox from playoff contention on September 25 and then passed the Tigers on the last day of the regular season to give the Tigers the wild-card slot. Detroit went on to win the American League Championship.

Year Winner Record % GB Playoffs
1994 Cleveland Indians§ 66–47 .584 1 No Playoffs
2006 Detroit Tigers 95–67 .586 1 Lost World Series to St. Louis, 4-1

§ Due to the players' strike, no official wild card winner was awarded. Cleveland was leading the wild card at the strike.

AL Central titles won by team

Team Championships Last Year Won
Cleveland Indians 7 2007
Minnesota Twins 5 2009
Chicago White Sox 3 2008
Detroit Tigers 0
Kansas City Royals 0

See also

References


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