The American League East division can be considered the division that changed Major League Baseball. In 2012, MLB will go to an all-new playoff format that has the two non-division-winning teams battle it out for a wild-card berth.
For years, the old format resulted in both the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox battling for the AL East and the wild-card spots, with the Tampa Bay Rays scattered in the mix.
This left fans of the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays frustrated, as they had to play those three teams 19 times apiece compared to the rest of the AL that had to play them six-to-10 times apiece. The Orioles and Blue Jays were at a disadvantage.
Now, the Orioles and Jays have a slight bit of hope. If they can overtake just one of the big three in the division, they have a legitimate shot at the playoffs, playing in the toughest division in baseball.
Can the Orioles and Blue Jays compete in a stacked division? The new playoff format is about to let us find out.