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The rampant towel waving didn't stop Verlander.
The Oakland Athletics had home-field advantage for their series against the Detroit Tigers.
Beginning in Detroit, the A's quickly fell to an 0-2 hole before heading back west. Loud chants of "MVP" can overwhelm rookie pitchers when facing Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera. Pressure builds, and before you know it, young fielders make errors that allow cheap runs for the Tigers.
On the other hand, the A's strike out a lot, and the first two pitchers they faced—Justin Verlander and Doug Fister—have strikeout ability. This makes one think that even at home, the A's would have fared the same.
Returning to Oakland, the A's then had to win three games straight. It wasn't unheard of; they had just done it against the Texas Rangers, a seemingly more difficult opponent.
They won the first two before losing for the second time in the series to Verlander.
Let's return back to the old format, though. Even at home, the A's likely would have lost to Verlander in Game 1. Say they beat Fister in Game 2, and now, they fly to Detroit for two games. They'd have to win both away games to finish off the Tigers. If they split, it's back to Oakland—and Verlander—for Game 5.
Advantage Factor: Very, very minimally in favor of the Tigers, if at all.