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The 2020 Atlanta Braves season was the Braves' 55th season in Atlanta, 150th overall, and fourth season at Truist Park. On March 12, 2020, MLB announcedThe 2020 Atlanta Braves season was the Braves' 55th season in Atlanta, 150th overall, and fourth season at Truist Park. On March 12, 2020, MLB announced that because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the start of the regular season would be delayed by at least two weeks in addition to the remainder of spring training being cancelled. Four days later, it was announced that the start of the season would be pushed back indefinitely due to the recommendation made by the CDC to restrict events of more than 50 people for eight weeks. On June 23, commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implemented a 60-game season. Players reported to training camps on July 1 in order to resume spring training and prepare for a July 24 Opening Day. The Braves began the season at the New York Mets on July 24 and ended the season at home against the Boston Red Sox on September 27. Due to the pandemic and the shortened season, Major League Baseball instituted certain rule changes which included the use of a universal designated hitter, a runner on second base to start extra innings, and a revised schedule.In a series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Marcell Ozuna and Adam Duvall became the first pair of teammates in MLB history to hit three home runs in consecutive games, Ozuna doing so on September 1 and Duvall on September 2. In their game against the Miami Marlins on September 9, the Braves scored 29 runs, one short of the MLB record set by the Texas Rangers in 2007. On September 22, the Braves clinched the NL East for the third straight year with a 11–1 win over the Miami Marlins. They then swept the Cincinnati Reds in the 2020 National League Wild Card Series for their first post-season series win since the 2001 season. They also swept the Miami Marlins in the 2020 National League Division Series and advanced to the 2020 National League Championship Series, their first NLCS appearance since 2001. They lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS after leading 3–1. The Braves led MLB in hits (556), doubles (130), runs batted in (338), on-base percentage (.349), on-base plus slugging (.832), total bases (1,001) and plate appearances (2,344).
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’s 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 due to said scandal. 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 2021 season, the Astros' all-time record is 4,725-4,764 (.498)