AL vs NL – Difference and Comparison

What is AL?

The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs (AL) was established as a replacement for The Western League in the year of 1901. It began with a total no: of 8 teams which has expanded to 15 today. Prior to 2012, the number of teams was 16.

Due to the use of DH average runs is also more in AL when compared to NL. The style of the game is also more focused on home runs and overall power. At the end of every season, AL teams compete against NL teams and to date AL teams have won the majority of matches. AL also holds the record of 61 home runs which is ironically low when compared to NL.

The teams which are the members of the league are as follows:
• Toronto Blue Jays
• Boston Red Sox
• Los Angeles
• Houston Astros
• New York Yankees
• Chicago White Sox
• Oakland Athletics
• Detroit Tigers
• Tampa Bay Rays
• Baltimore Orioles
• Texas Rangers
• Kansas City Royals
• Seattle Mariners
• Cleveland Indians
• Minnesota Twins

What is NL?

The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs (NL) was founded in the year 1876 with the purpose of replacing The National Association of Professional Baseball Players (NA). The league was originally composed of 8 teams which now has grown equal in number to AL. But it is also important to note that before 2012 NL comprised only 14 teams which were less than AL.

As the usage of DH is not permitted in NL the average runs are comparatively less to AL. The other reason behind this lesser average may be attributed to a change in style followed in the game which gives more weightage to pitching with a focus on offensive running. Even though NL is following a game style that is more focused on pitching its record of home runs is 73 which is more than that of Al.

The current teams in NL are as follows:
• New York Mets
• Philadelphia Phillies
• Washington Nationals
• Chicago Cubs
• Cincinnati Reds
• Milwaukee Brewers
• Atlanta Braves
• Florida Marlins
• Pittsburgh Pirates
• St. Louis Cardinals
• Arizona Diamondbacks
• Colorado Rockies
• Los Angeles Dodgers
• San Diego Padres
• San Francisco Giants

Difference Between AL and NL

  1. Although both AL and NL are equally popular the latter is 25 years older than the former. AL was formed in the year 1901 as a replacement for its predecessor The Western League and NL came as the successor for The National Association of Professional Baseball Players (NA) in the year 1876.
  2. Another reason of contrast between the two leagues is the DH rule. DH is allowed in AL whereas the same is not allowed in NL. This difference leads to the emergence of several other interesting differences.
  3. The style of game followed in both AL and NL is also different. Whereas the former focuses on homeruns and power the latter focuses on pitching orientation and offensive running.
  4. The umpire focuses on the on the flight of the pitch in different perspectives for both the leagues. In AL the focus is above the head of the catcher and in NL the focus is on the inside shoulder of the catcher.
  5. The number of games won by AL is 1249 whereas NL has won only 1202.

Comparison Between AL and NL

Parameters of ComparisonALNL
Year of Establishment19011876
Game StyleInclined towards home run and powerInclined towards pitching and offensive running
Usage of DHPermittedNot Permitted
Focus of UmpireAbove catcher’s headOver the inside shoulder of the catcher.
No: of Games won1,2491,202