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Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization that plays in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1903, the MLB is the oldest major professional sports league in the United States and Canada. There are 30 teams in the MLB with 15 in the National League (NL) and 15 in the American League (AL). There are three divisions of five teams in each league. The NL was created in 1876, and the AL was created in 1901, but the leagues operated as separate entities but cooperating as one from 1903 to 2000. In 2000, the leagues merged into a single organization.
Every team in the MLB plays 162 games each season. These games are typically organized into three-game series against their opponents, but there are occasionally two- and four-game series each season. These series are then organized into homestands and road trips with multiple series played back-to-back to cut down on the amount of travel days throughout the season. Typically games are scheduled at night except on Sundays (considered travel days) when most games will be played during the afternoon. The MLB schedule consists of 19 games against each of the team’s 4 divisional opponents, and a home and away series (equaling either 6 or 7 games) against the other 10 teams in its league. The schedule also includes a series against each team in a rotating division in the opposite league and two home games and two away games against a “natural rival” in the opposite league.
The teams compete in this 162 regular season for a chance to qualify for one of the five playoff berths given to each league. The three division winners automatically qualify for the playoffs while the next two teams with the highest records in the league qualify for the Wild Card game. The Wild Card game is a one-game playoff with the winner facing the top team in the league in a best-of-five series. The second and third seeds in the playoffs also play in a best of five series. The winner of these two series will then play in the best-of-seven Championship Series for their league. The winners of the two leagues will then play in the best-of-seven World Series to win the title of that year’s best team in the MLB. The team with the better record in each series will be granted an extra home game. In MLB history, no team has won more World Series titles than the New York Yankees with 27. Their most recent World Series championship came in 2009.