Major League Baseball changed its division series format for 2012, which allowed the lower-seeded teams to open up the series with two home games. So far, only the Detroit Tigers have been able to take advantage of that, going 2-0 at Comerica Park against the Oakland Athletics.
Justin Verlander and Doug Fister turned in terrific performances to help Detroit take a commanding series lead. Perhaps more impressive is the fact that the Tigers were able to slow Oakland's momentum; the A's were winners of eight out of their final nine games of the season, and looked particularly unbeatable against the Texas Rangers, who had the makings of a World Series team before running into the green and yellow wall. Had the Tigers been forced to play the first two games of the series in Oakland, who knows how the games would have turned out.
The other three home teams haven't been quite as opportunistic as the Detroit. The San Francisco Giants lost both of their home games to the Cincinnati Reds, while the St. Louis Cardinals and Baltimore Orioles failed to capitalize on the format change by dropping the first game of their respective series against the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees.