Tonight’s Game 1: Oakland (Parker 13-8, 3.47 ERA, 140 K)
at Detroit (Verlander 17-8, 2.64 ERA, 239 K), 3:07 p.m. ( TV: TBS)
Last meeting: The A’s were swept by Detroit in the 2006 ALCS, ending their last playoff trip. Detroit won the pennant on a home run by Magglio Ordonez.
This season: The teams split a four-game series in Oakland in May, and Detroit won two of three at home in September.
A’s big picture: This was supposed to be a rebuilding year in Oakland after the team began with the lowest opening-day payroll in the majors at $53 million. Instead, manager Bob Melvin led a collection of rookies and misfits to the franchise’s first playoff berth since 2006. … After a rocky start, Oakland (94-68) has a major league-best 72-38 record since June 2. … Oakland finished the season with five rookie starters and the 54 wins from rookies are the most ever for a playoff team.
Tigers’ big picture: It wasn’t as easy as many expected, but Detroit (88-74) finally wrested the A.L. Central title away from the fading Chicago White Sox down the stretch to reach the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since 1934-35. … Detroit finished sixth in the A.L. in runs. The Tigers were 10th in homers – with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder accounting for more than 45 percent of the team’s total of 163. … The Tigers lost to Texas in the 2011 A.L. championship series.