The A's came from about a billion games back to win the AL West thanks to the Rangers cubbing the final month or so of the season. That's not to say the A's backed into the playoffs. They won 94 games, which was just one back of the AL leading Yankees.
The Tigers fell back in the AL Central early and worked their way back to the top, but White Sox probably don't know they're team was even in contention.
Entering the season I thought the Rangers were the best team in baseball followed closely by the Tigers and Yankees. The Rangers season ended in game 163 before the real playoffs begin, the Yankees tried to throw their huge division lead away to both the O's and the Rays and the Tigers didn't claim first place until late in the season. At one point it looked as though it was entirely possible none of the teams I thought were the 3 best in the AL (and probably all of baseball) would even win their division. As a result, at least one of them would miss the new 10-team playoffs. In the end, the Tigers beat out the White Sox and the Yankees outlasted the improbable O's, but the Rangers fell on the final day and the A's won their division.
The O's got off to a strong start and continued to win games all season though they were helped by the Yankees sucking for awhile, but that was not necessarily the case for the A's. At the end of June, the A's were 37-42 and trailed the MLB best Rangers by 13 games. They were an afterthought for the playoffs. They made it and it's our responsible at the highly regarded Obstructed View to preview this series as best as possible.
Storylines you may or may not care about
Did you hear Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown? I'm thinking you guys should have a drinking game and drink every time the announcers talk about his triple crown.
There are rookies in the A's rotation and lots of them. If the A's win it all, the 'Moneyball' philosophy will be a success, but if they lose it will be bullshit and an example of why Brad Pitt and like-minded GMs are ruining the game. Josh Donaldson was traded by the Cubs to the A's for Rich Harden, along with Eric Patterson.
Projected Starting Lineups
I'm thinking you guys should have a drinking game and drink every time the announcers talk about Cabrera's triple crown.
Statistics (AL rank)
- wRC+: Tigers 104 (3rd), A's 98 (6th)
- FIP- (SP): Tigers 85 (1st), A's 98 (6th)
- FIP- (RP): Tigers 90 (6th), A's 93 (8th)
- UZR: A's 24.3 (5th), Tigers -28.1 (13th)
- DRS: A's 14 (7th), Tigers -32 (13th)
- BsR: A's 7 (3), Tigers -5.9 (13th)
PECOTA: Not sure where I can find, or if even it exists anymore, but Baseball Prospectus used to give odds of winning a series. They do so for tonight's game in Detroit with one of the best pitchers of the last 25 years on the mound for Detroit. The Tigers have a 67.8% chance of winning tonight's game. Considering the odds would be similar in a Game 5, you've got to think the Tigers are heavy favorites to win this series.
I admit that I haven't paid a great deal of attention to these two teams this season. I thought the A's had little chance of a playoff spot so I never really bothered watching them. I also thought the Tigers were all but guaranteed a playoff spot and was looking forward to seeing them in the postseason. In a 5-game series with a pitcher like Justin Verlander I'm almost always going to pick that team to win the series and I do that here too.
Tigers in 4. Brad Pitt's 'Moneyball' approach is trashed for the next 12 months.