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The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a memberThe St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Since the 2006 season, the Cardinals have played their home games at Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis. One of the nation's oldest and most successful professional baseball clubs, the Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, the most of any NL team and second in MLB only to the New York Yankees. The team has won 19 National League pennants, third-most of any team. St. Louis has also won 15 division titles in the East and Central divisions. In 1881, entrepreneur Chris von der Ahe purchased the Brown Stockings barnstorming club, renamed it the St. Louis Browns, and made it a charter member of the American Association baseball league. The team won four league championships, qualifying them to play in the era's professional baseball championship series, a forerunner of the modern World Series. In two of these championships, the Browns met the Chicago White Stockings, now the Chicago Cubs, launching the enduring Cardinals–Cubs rivalry. In 1892, the Browns – also called the Perfectos – joined the National League. In 1900, the team was renamed the Cardinals. (Two years later, an unrelated St. Louis Browns team joined the American League.) Notable Cardinals achievements include manager/owner Branch Rickey's invention of the farm system, Rogers Hornsby's two batting Triple Crowns, Dizzy Dean's 30-win season in 1934, Stan Musial's 17 MLB and 29 NL records, Bob Gibson's 1.12 earned run average (ERA) in 1968, Whitey Herzog's Whiteyball, Mark McGwire's single-season home run record in 1998, the 2011 championship team's unprecedented comebacks, and Albert Pujols’ 700th home run. The Cardinals have won 105 or more games in four seasons and won 100 or more nine times. Cardinals players have won 20 league MVPs, four batting Triple Crowns, and three Cy Young Awards. Baseball Hall of Fame inductees include Lou Brock, Dizzy Dean, Bob Gibson, Whitey Herzog, Rogers Hornsby, Joe Medwick, Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter, Branch Rickey, Red Schoendienst, Ozzie Smith, Ted Simmons, and Bruce Sutter. In 2018, Forbes valued the Cardinals at $1.9 billion, the 7th-highest among MLB clubs and far more than the $147 million paid in 1995 by owner William DeWitt, Jr.'s investment group. In 2017, the team took in revenue of $319 million on an operating income of $40.0 million. John Mozeliak is the President of Baseball Operations, Mike Girsch is the general manager and Oliver Marmol is the manager. The Cardinals are renowned for their strong fan support: despite being in one of the sport's mid-level markets, they routinely see attendances among the league's highest, and are consistently among the top three in MLB in local television ratings.Through 2022, the Cardinals' all-time win-loss record is 11,131–10,232 (.521).
The Houston Astros are an American professional baseball team based in Houston, Texas. The Astros compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member clubThe Houston Astros are an American professional baseball team based in Houston, Texas. 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 MLB realignment in 2013. The Astros posted their first winning record in 1972 and made the playoffs for the first time in 1980. Spearheaded by the Killer B's, a collection of prominent hitters that included the Astros' only Hall of Fame members Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, the Astros began reaching major prominence in the early 2000s, culminating in their first World Series appearance in 2005 but were swept by the AL’s Chicago White Sox. After a major slump throughout the next decade, the team was purchased by business owner Jim Crane in 2011 for $680 million. Under Crane's ownership, the Astros embraced sabermetrics and pioneered new analytical technologies in their transition to the American League, and by the mid-2010s has transformed from a poor franchise into one of MLB's most dominant and successful clubs in the midst of a golden era, winning over 100 games in three straight seasons. During this time, the Astros won the 2017 World Series, their first championship, against the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games in the wake of Hurricane Harvey; they made later appearances in 2019 against the Washington Nationals, 2021 against the Atlanta Braves, and 2022 against the Philadelphia Phillies, winning their second title in the latter series. They are the only team to win a postseason series in six straight seasons. During the 2019–2020 off-season, the Astros became the prime suspect in a MLB-wide sign stealing scandal that took place during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, resulting in the suspensions of manager A. J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow; Crane later fired and replaced them with Dusty Baker and James Click respectively. The Astros' roles in the scandal, as well as what were believed to be minimal punishments for its players, have caused the Astros to become one of the most hated baseball teams in the modern age. Despite this, the Astros have continued to be successful, appearing in a record six consecutive American League Championship Series and winning four of the last six American League pennants. Their fifth pennant in 2022 made them the second team created in the expansion era to win five league pennants (after the New York Mets), and they are the fifth expansion team to have won two World championships. Because of this success, the Astros are widely considered to be a modern sports dynasty.From 1962 through the end of the 2022 season, the Astros' all-time record is 4,831-4,820 (.501). In addition to having the most postseason appearances by an expansion team, they are the only expansion era team with an all-time winning record.