The first use of the term "Division Series" dates from 1981, when due to a mid-season players' strike, that season was divided into two halves, with the winners of each half from each division playing one another in a best-of-five series to decide which team would represent that division in the League Championship Series (this format being common in minor-league baseball). Champions Major League Baseball World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers over New York Yankees (4-2 Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero The 1981 Major League Baseball strike was the fifth work stoppage in Major League Baseball since the 1972 Major League Baseball strike There are several different Playoff formats used in various levels of competition in Sports and Games Some of the most common are the single elimination The League Championship Series ( LCS) is the official name for a round of playoffs in Major League Baseball which has been conducted since 1969. But because the two halves of the season were independent of one another, the winner of the first half had no real incentive to try and win the second half as well (since, unlike in the minor leagues, if the same team did win both halves it was not given a bye into the next round), and a team that won neither half could have actually had the best overall record in the division; indeed, the latter actually occurred, as the Cincinnati Reds not only had the best won-lost record (in both halves of the season combined) among the six teams in the National League's Western Division (to which they belonged at the time), but the Reds had the best overall winning percentage in all of Major League Baseball, yet did not advance to the playoffs because they did not finish first in either of the two halves. The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball team based in Cincinnati Ohio, USA
In 1994, both the National League and the American League realigned, with the number of divisions in both increasing from two to three (with fewer teams in each). Headline events of the year As a result of a players' strike the MLB season ends prematurely on August 11, 1994. The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the National League ( NL) is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League ( AL) is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in At the same time, the number of teams qualifying for baseball's postseason was doubled, from four to eight; henceforth the three first-place teams from each league's divisions would reach the postseason, along with one wild card team from each league (the latter being the second-place finisher with the best regular-season record). The term wild card refers broadly to a Tournament or Playoff berth awarded to an individual or team that has not qualified through normal play However, this expanded playoff format would not make its debut until the following year, because a players' strike, which began on August 12, 1994, led to the cancellation of that season's playoffs and World Series (and caused the 1995 regular season to have 18 fewer games for each team than normal). The 1994 Major League baseball strike was the eighth work stoppage in Baseball history as well as the fourth in-season work stoppage Events 1099 - First Crusade: Battle of Ascalon - Crusaders under the command of Godfrey of Bouillon defeat Fatimid Headline events of the year As a result of a players' strike the MLB season ends prematurely on August 11, 1994. The 1994 World Series was cancelled on September 14 of that year due to an ongoing strike by the Major League Baseball Players Champions Major League Baseball World Series: Atlanta Braves over Cleveland Indians (4-2 Tom Glavine, MVP
Throughout its existence, the Division Series has been best-of-five; however, both the method of awarding home-field advantage in the series and which games the team getting the advantage would host were changed in 1998. There are several different Playoff formats used in various levels of competition in Sports and Games Some of the most common are the single elimination Headline events of the year Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr
Before that year, the Eastern, Central and Western Division champions rotated home-site priority, with two of them getting the extra home game and the third one and the wild card not; since 1998, the two division champions with the best regular-season records have been accorded this privilege. Headline events of the year Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr The change also prevents the top two teams in a league facing each other in the Division Series. Beginning in the same year, the team having home-field advantage has hosted the first, second and (if necessary) fifth games; before that the team with the disadvantage played the first two games at home and the team with the advantage the last three. This meant the team with the disadvantage had absoultely no chance of winning the series at home. But with the newer format, the lower seeded team actually gets two chances out of three to win the series on its home field although the higher seeded team hosts three out of five games overall.
A wild card team can only have home-field advantage in the World Series if their league won the all-star game. Other than that, they can never receive home-field advantage in a series, even if it has a better record than the division champion it plays (which would occur if the teams with the two best records come from the same division; see below).
Currently, the three division champions receive the top three seeds, with the wild card team receiving the fourth seed. The teams are bracketed by the following criteria:
There has been some criticism on how Major League Baseball schedules Division Series games. Teams with large national fan followings like the New York Yankees are almost always scheduled to play in prime time at 8 p. The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the borough of The Bronx, in New York City, New York. Prime Time is the major News analysis current affairs and Politics programme broadcast on Radio Telefís Éireann in Ireland m. ET/5 p. The Eastern Time Zone ( ET) of the Western Hemisphere falls mostly along the east coast of North America and the west coast of South America m. PT to generate the highest TV ratings. The Pacific Time Zone observes Standard time by subtracting eight hours from Coordinated Universal Time ( UTC-8) Nielsen Ratings are audience measurement systems developed by Nielsen Media Research to determine the Audience size and composition of television As a result, West Coast teams generally have to play on the road at 1 p. The " West Coast " " Western Seaboard " or " Pacific Seaboard " are terms for the westernmost coastal states of the Western United States m. ET/10 a. m. PT when many of their fans are unable to watch the game because they are at work or school. 
Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane has been critical of the seeding of the Division Series. The Oakland Athletics are a professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. There is another former major league player named Billy Bean. He has called for the Division Series to be seeded strictly by regular-season record without regard to whether a team has won its division. 
Had Beane's proposal been in place in 2006, both leagues would have seen Division Series matchups between a division champion and a wild-card team from its division, which is impossible under present rules. 2006 Major League Baseball season|2006 Nippon Professional Baseball season Headline Event of the Year The 2006 World Baseball Classic is a surprise success If it had been in place in 2004, the wild-card Boston Red Sox, with the second-best record in the American League, would have had home-field advantage in the Division Series over a division champion, which is also impossible under present rules. Headline events of the year The Boston Red Sox win their first World Series since, ending the Curse of the Bambino. The Boston Red Sox are a Professional baseball team based in Boston Massachusetts, and are the reigning (2007 World Series Champions.