The first round of playoffs for the American League, most often referred to as the ALDS. Really a set of two five-game series, it has been played ever since Major League Baseball expanded to 6 divisions in 1994; it was also played in 1981 for reasons I've not been able to ascertain. There are 3 divisions in the American League, and all 3 division champions play in this round; the division champion with the best record plays against the wildcard team, which is the team with the best record that did not win its division. The winners of the two series meet in the American League Championship Series.

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