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MLB American League East 2022

The AL East continues to be one of the premier divisions in baseball. In 2021, they sent three teams to the American League playoffs. The Rays won the division, while the Red Sox and Yankees represented the division as Wild Card teams.

To illustrate how strong the division is, of the top 11 teams in terms of odds to win the 2022 World Series, four of the teams are from the AL East.

Really, the only team that continues to struggle is the Baltimore Orioles. In 2021, they finished a dismal 52-110, 48 games out of first in the division.

All four of the other teams had at least 91 wins, with the Rays amassing 100 wins. With all four teams locked and loaded with deep rosters, 2022 should once again prove the AL East as one of the best divisions in all of baseball.

MLB American League East History

Historically, Major League Baseball was divided simply into two leagues: the American League and National League. However, in 1969, both leagues reorganized to include two divisions. It was in that year that the American League East was born.

Upon its original introduction, the A.L. East consisted of the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians (1969-1993), Detroit Tigers (1969-1997), and Washington Senators (1969-1971). 

The Milwaukee Brewers (1972-1993) were also part of the division for 21 years. The Blue Jays were added in 1977 and the Tampa Bay Rays were added in 1998.

In 1994, both the National League and American League reorganized again, this time into three divisions. Since that time, the division has included the Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays, with the Rays joining in 1998.

MLB American League East Championships

The American League East has dominated during its 52-year existence. In fact, in that time, a team from the division has made it to the World Series 27 times with 16 of those teams coming out victorious.

The Yankees (7), Red Sox (4), Orioles (2), Blue Jays (2), and Detroit Tigers (1) have claimed the 16 World Series titles out of the A.L. East.

In terms of winning the division, the New York Yankees have the clear advantage over the field. They have won the American League East 19 times, with their most recent win being in 2019. The Red Sox (10), Orioles (9), Blue Jays (6), Rays (4), Tigers (3), and Brewers (1) round out the rest of the division titles.

In the last decade, three of the division winners have gone on to play in the World Series. The Red Sox won it all in both 2013 and 2018, while the Rays lost in the World Series in 2020.

In fact, those two teams have been particularly dominating in recent years. The Rays and Red Sox have won the division five of the last six years.

MLB American League East Top Players

From a historical context, there have been a litany of extraordinary players who have played in the A.L. East. Players like Cal Ripken Jr, Don Mattingly, George Bell, Robin Yount, Derek Jeter, Manny Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, Rollie Fingers, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Roy Halladay, and others have filled the history books, with many also filling the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. 

Since the adaptation of the American League East in 1969, there have been 20 players from the division that have won the American League’s Most Valuable Player award. The Red Sox have the most MVPs in that span with six. The most recent from the division was Mookie Betts of the Red Sox in 2018.

In terms of the American League Cy Young, the division has hosted 27 winners since its inception in 1969. The Orioles and Red Sox share the lead with six winners apiece. The most recent winner was Robbie Ray of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2021.

Today, the stars still shine bright in the A.L. East. Here are just a few of the stars from the division this past season.

American League East Star Players:

  • Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero – .311/.401/.601, 48 HR, 111 RBI, 123 R
  • Orioles: Ryan Mountcastle – .255/.309/.487, 33 HR, 89 RBI, 77 R
  • Rays: Brandon Lowe – .247/.340/.523, 39 HR, 99 RBI, 97 R
  • Red Sox: Rafael Devers – .279/.352/.538, 38 HR, 113 RBI, 101 R
  • Yankees: Aaron Judge – .287/.373/.544, 39 HR, 98 RBI, 89 R

MLB American League East Top Managers

Throughout history, some of the best managers in the game have resided in the East. As an example, Joe Torre won four World Series rings with the New York Yankees and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2014 as a manager, Sparky Anderson of the Detroit Tigers (when they were in the East) is also in Cooperstown, and several others have left their mark on the game and their respective organizations as well.

Starting in 1983, Major League Baseball started to recognize outstanding jobs that managers have done with the Manager of the Year award. In that time, the A.L. East has had a manager win the award 15 times.

Most recently, the Tampa Bay Rays’ Kevin Cash won it in back-to-back years in 2020 and 2021. The Rays have actually had a manager win it more than any other team in the division as both Cash and Joe Maddon won it twice each.

Today, the division still hosts some of the best managers in the game. In addition to Cash of the Rays, Alex Cora (Red Sox), Aaron Boone (Yankees), Charlie Montoyo (Blue Jays), and Brandon Hyde (Orioles) pull the strings for their respective clubs.