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The Houston Astros are an American professional baseball team based in Houston. The Astros compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of theThe Houston Astros are an American professional baseball team based in Houston. The Astros compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division, having moved to the division in 2013 after spending their first 51 seasons in the National League (NL).The Astros were established as the Houston Colt .45s and entered the National League as an expansion team in 1962 along with the New York Mets. The current name, reflecting Houston's role as the host of the Johnson Space Center, was adopted three years later, when they moved into the Astrodome, the first domed sports stadium and the so-called "Eighth Wonder of the World." The Astros moved to a new stadium called Minute Maid Park in 2000. The Astros played in the NL West division from 1969 to 1993, then the NL Central division from 1994 to 2012, before being moved to the AL West as part of a minor realignment in 2013. The Astros posted their first winning record in 1972 and made the playoffs for the first time in 1980. The Astros made their first World Series appearance in 2005 but were swept by the AL Chicago White Sox. In the following decade, the team embraced sabermetrics and pioneered new analytical technologies during the early 2010s, transforming from a middling franchise into one of MLB's most dominant and successful clubs, winning over 100 games in three straight seasons, although they were central players in a major cheating scandal. The Astros won the 2017 World Series, their first championship, against the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Having been defeated by Boston the following year in the 2018 ALCS, the Astros returned to the World Series in 2019, losing to the Washington Nationals in seven games despite putting together a franchise-best regular season. On January 13, 2020, Astros manager A. J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended by MLB for one year after an investigation confirmed sign stealing by the Astros during their 2017 World Series campaign; both men were fired shortly thereafter. Dusty Baker was announced as the new manager, and James Click as the new general manager, on January 29 and February 3, 2020, respectively. During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the Astros again qualified for the playoffs (this time with a losing record), making a run for their fourth consecutive American League Championship Series appearance after having beaten the Minnesota Twins and division rival Oakland Athletics. However, despite becoming just the second team in the history of baseball to rebound from an 0–3 series deficit, the Astros ultimately fell to the Tampa Bay Rays after seven historically tight games in the ALCS. From 1962 through the end of the 2020 season, the Astros all-time record is 4,630-4,697 (.496)
The Oakland Athletics (often referred to as the A's) are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics compete inThe Oakland Athletics (often referred to as the A's) are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division. The team plays its home games at the Oakland Coliseum. Throughout their history, the Athletics have won nine World Series championships. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the team was founded in Philadelphia in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics. They won three World Series championships in 1910, 1911, and 1913, and back-to-back titles in 1929 and 1930. The team's owner and manager for its first 50 years was Connie Mack and Hall of Fame players included Chief Bender, Frank "Home Run" Baker, Jimmie Foxx, and Lefty Grove. The team left Philadelphia for Kansas City in 1955 and became the Kansas City Athletics before moving to Oakland in 1968. They won three consecutive World Series in 1972, 1973, and 1974, led by players including Vida Blue, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Rollie Fingers, and owner Charlie O. Finley. After being sold by Finley to Walter A. Haas Jr., the team won three consecutive pennants and the 1989 World Series behind the "Bash Brothers", Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, as well as Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley, Rickey Henderson and manager Tony La Russa. From 1901 to 2020, the Athletics' overall win–loss record is 9,064–9,476 (.489).