ALCS history: Teams with the most pennants, appearances and more

One team has dominated the American League, while another is still chasing its first AL pennant

NBC Universal, Inc.

Before a team can lift the Commissioner’s Trophy, it has to win the pennant.

The ALCS and NLCS were established in 1969. Prior to that, the winner for each league was determined by regular season records. The new format gave division winners in each league a chance to duke it out for a spot in the Fall Classic.

MLB has since expanded its playoff format to six teams – three division winners and three wild cards – in each league, giving even more clubs a chance to reach the championship series.

Which AL team has had the most success in the ALCS? And which teams are still looking for their first AL crown?

With the 2023 series in the books, here is a look at the history of the ALCS:

Which team has won the most AL pennants?

The New York Yankees have far and away the most World Series titles of any MLB team, so it makes sense they have similar success when it comes to winning the American League.

The team has 40 total American League pennants. Eleven of those were won through the ALCS, while the 29 other ones came before the series was created.

Here is a look at American League winners through history, including their wins in the ALCS.

Most AL pennants

1. Yankees: 40

2. A’s: 15

3. Red Sox: 14

4. Tigers: 11

5. Orioles: 7

T-6. Twins: 6

T-6. Guardians: 6

T-6. White Sox: 6

T-9. Royals: 4

T-9: Astros: 4

11. Rangers: 3

T-12. Rays: 2

T-12. Blue Jays: 2

T-14. Angels: 1

T-14. Brewers: 1

Most ALCS wins

1. Yankees: 11

T-2. Red Sox: 6

T-2. A’s: 6

4. Orioles: 5

T-5. Royals: 4

T-5. Astros: 4

T-7. Rangers: 3

T-7. Tigers: 3

T-7. Guardians: 3

T-10. Blue Jays: 2

T-10. Twins: 2

T-10. Rays: 2

T-13. Angels: 1

T-13. White Sox: 1

T-13. Brewers: 1

Which team has the most ALCS appearances?

Once again, the Yankees are on top. The Bronx Bombers have 18 appearances in the ALCS with the most recent one coming in 2022.

The Red Sox (12), A’s (11) and Orioles (10) are the only other teams with double-digit ALCS appearances.

The Rays have the fewest ALCS appearances of any current AL team with two.

Has every AL team won the ALCS at least once?

The Mariners are the only AL team without a World Series appearance.

The team made it to the ALCS in 1995, 2000 and 2001, but they have yet to reach the Fall Classic.

Most common ALCS matchups

Yankees-Royals is the most common matchup in ALCS history.

The two teams faced off four times in a five-year span from 1976 to 1980. The Yankees went 3-1 in those series, reaching the World Series in 1976, 1977 and 1978. The Royals got some payback with a series victory over the Yankees in 1980.

Four recurring matchups happened three times apiece in the ALCS: Yankees-Astros, Yankees-Red Sox, Orioles-A’s and Red Sox-A’s.

What is the name of the ALCS trophy?

The ALCS winner takes home the William Harridge Award. Harridge was the AL president from 1931 to 1959 and was posthumously elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

Contact Us