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How Baseball's American League Works


American League Power
Mickey Mantle played for the New York Yankees from 1951-1968 and lead the Yankees to capturing the 1958 World Series championship against the Milwaukee Braves.
Mickey Mantle played for the New York Yankees from 1951-1968 and lead the Yankees to capturing the 1958 World Series championship against the Milwaukee Braves.
Rogers Photo Archive/Getty Images

For many, the American League is the most powerful in Major League Baseball. From 1997 to 2011, the American League led the National League in interleague wins. The AL has won 1,937 games, while the NL has won 1,773. The New York Yankees have won the most interleague games at 157 [source: Major League Baseball].

The National League is also in second place when it comes to the All Star Game, the annual mid-season classic that pits the best of both leagues against one another. From 2002 to 2012, the National League has won only three All-Star Games, while the American League has taken home seven All-Star trophies. If we go back another 10 years, the AL has won six additional All-Star titles to the National League's three. (There was one tie in 2002.)

In short, the American League has dominated the National League in almost every aspect of the game since installing the DH. From 1973 to 2011, the American League has won 21 World Series while the National League has won only 15. The Series was not played in 1994 [source: Major League Baseball].

Although the National League prides itself as being the "Senior Circuit," it has become a safe haven for pitchers. National League batting lineups tend to be weaker than AL lineups. That's because the AL not only has the DH, but most No. 9 batters in the American League are much stronger than their counterparts in the National League.

Many pitchers who move from the NL to the AL often have a very unpleasant time. That's because moving to the American League is such a challenge, the pitchers do not do as well as they did in the National League [source: Schwartz].

Just because the American League has dominated the National League for just under 40 years, doesn't mean the National League has never had great players. Throughout its history, the National League has had awesome players like Willie Mays of the New York Yankees and later San Francisco Giants, Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax and Stan Musial. Some of the American League players weren't so bad either, including Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson, Rod Carew and other greats.

Batter up!