AL Central Champions Logos

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

This championship began in 1994 when a desire to expand the MLB playoff field resulted in the creation of a third division out of the long existing AL East and AL West divisions. Five teams were taken from those two divisions to form the AL Central. This playoff format pitting the three division champions against the best second place team, known as the wildcard team, the two winners would face-off in the ALCS. This format remained this way until 2012 when an extra wildcard team was added to create the single game playoff round.