Division title

From BR Bullpen

A Division title is awarded to a team that finishes the Major League Baseball season in first place in its respective division. The first division titles were awarded in 1969, when the two leagues were split into eastern and western divisions. The title ensures that the winner will play in the postseason: until 1993, the two division titlists met in the League Championship Series, and since then they have played in the Division Series, either against another winner of a division title, or against a wild card team.

The one exception to this came in 1981, due to the strike. As part of the strike's resolution, a split-season schedule was adopted, and as a result the first round of the postseason pitted the first-half winners against the second-half winners in the same division. Thus, in the National League, the two teams that had maintained the best records in their respective divisions over the full season, the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds, were excluded from the postseason.

For a list of division title winners, see the articles on the various divisions.