AL West Champions Logos

The American League West Division Champion is the team leading the AL West Division at the end of the 162 game MLB regular season. Since 2012 the benefit that goes along with winning the AL West Division championship is an automatic placement into the ALDS, bypassing the single elimination game league playoff.

This championship began when expansion forced the American League split from one 10-team league in 1968 into two six-team divisions for 1969. A best of five game playoff was created to pit the AL West Division Champion against the AL East Division Champion to determine who would represent the American League in the World Series. In 1985 this playoff round was expanded to a best of seven.

In 1994 the AL West was reduced from seven to four teams with the creation of the new AL Central Division, the addition of a third division created an extra playoff round pitting the three division champions against the best second place team, known as the wildcard team. This format remained this way until 2012 when an extra wildcard team was added to create the single game playoff round. The AL West expanded to 5 teams for 2013.