List Of Major League Baseball Teams By League And Division

List Of Major League Baseball Teams By League And Division

Feature Photo: Thechased at English Wikipedia, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Major League Baseball (MLB) is composed of 30 teams, divided between the American League (AL) and National League (NL). Each league is further divided into three divisions: East, Central, and West. This configuration has been consistent since 2013 when the Houston Astros moved from the NL Central to the AL West to create a balance of 15 teams in each league.

Here are the divisions and their respective teams:

American League:

  1. AL East:

  2. AL Central:

  3. AL West:

National League:

  1. NL East:

  2. NL Central:

  3. NL West:

Rob Manfred stands as the current Commissioner of Baseball

History Of The League

Major League Baseball (MLB), America’s oldest professional sports league, has a long and history characterized by expansion, restructuring, and evolution. From the inauguration of the National League (NL) in 1876 to the current lineup of 30 teams divided across the American League (AL) and NL, MLB’s divisional structure has continually evolved.

The Early Years: The National League

The NL was founded in 1876, replacing the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. The league began with eight teams: the Boston Red Stockings, Chicago White Stockings, Cincinnati Red Stockings, Hartford Dark Blues, Louisville Grays, New York Mutuals, Philadelphia Athletics, and St. Louis Brown Stockings. Over the years, teams came and went, moving cities and changing names. In 1900, the NL was condensed to eight teams, a structure that would hold for over half a century.

Emergence of the American League

The AL was born in 1901 when Ban Johnson, president of the minor Western League, declared it a major league and changed its name to the American League. Starting with eight teams, the AL quickly gained popularity and parity with the NL, leading to the first World Series in 1903.

MLB’s Expansion Era

The next significant evolution in the league structure began in the 1960s, initiating MLB’s Expansion Era. The AL expanded to ten teams in 1961 with the addition of the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators, and the NL followed suit in 1962, adding the Houston Colt .45s (later the Astros) and the New York Mets. This expansion established the trend of professional baseball moving westward and into new markets.

In 1969, both leagues expanded to twelve teams and split into two divisions: East and West. This restructuring led to the creation of the League Championship Series, a playoff round to determine the pennant winner from each league.

Further Expansions and Realignments

The 1970s and 1990s witnessed further expansions and realignments. The AL introduced the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays in 1977, marking MLB’s first venture outside the United States. The NL expanded in 1993 with the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins.

In 1994, both the AL and NL restructured into three divisions: East, Central, and West, and introduced a wildcard team into the playoffs, adding another layer of postseason competition.

Interleague Play and Recent Changes

In 1997, MLB broke new ground by introducing regular-season interleague play, further blurring the lines between the AL and NL. The most recent major realignment came in 2013 when the Houston Astros moved from the NL Central to the AL West, evening the leagues at 15 teams apiece.

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