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The World Series is the annual championship held every October by Major League Baseball (MLB). It pits the champion of the American League (AL) against the champion of the National League (NL) in a best-of-7 matchup. A little over two months into the new season, the relative strength of the 30 teams is beginning to come into focus and fans' dreams for their teams to reach the World Series are being tainted by the reality of the season. So, in today's Viz of the Day, we've brought you data for a quick look back through history at the big winners, leaders by club value, and even a few highlights of top earners in MLB.

MLB quick stats:

  • In only its second appearance in the World Series, the AL's Kansas City Royals won the 5-game 2015 World Series by defeating the NL's New York Mets in the fifth game with a final score of 7:2. 
  • The teams of the AL have won 64 of 111 Word Series to date. The New York Yankees - originally enfranchised in the AL in 1901 as the Baltimore Orioles - earned almost half of these wins (27) for the league. The Yankees have taken on long-time rival the Los Angeles Dodgers in 11 World Series and won the title in 8 of the matchups. The second-ranked team by the number of wins, the St. Louis Cardinals, is from the NL, but it has won only 11 World Series titles.
  • The Yankees is the most valuable franchise among the 30 MLB teams, with a value of US$3.4 billion as of 2016, according to an estimate from Forbes. And, what about the Yankees' main competitor these days, the Dodgers? The Dodgers is valued at US$2.5 billion, the second most valuable franchise in MLB.
  • Jon Lester, the pitcher for the NL's Chicago Cubs, is the highest-paid baseball player and 19th highest paid athlete in the world, with annual earnings of US$34.1 million as of 2015. From 2006 to 2014 he played for the Boston Red Sox and in 2014, for the Oakland Athletics. During his 10-year career in MLB, he played 290 games, during which he pitched 1,697 strikeouts.

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