The Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants have both dug themselves into 0-2 holes in their respective Division Series and need victories tonight to keep their World Series hopes alive. Since the advent of the Wild Card in 1995, only four teams - '95 Mariners, '99 Red Sox, '01 Yankees and '03 Red Sox -- have ever come back from an 0-2 deficit in a Division Series.
Which Bay Area team has the best chance to pull off the feat this year?
While the A's get the opportunity to muster their comeback in the friendly (and expansive) confines of Oakland Coliseum, the Giants must find a way to defeat the Reds in Cincinnati. Home field advantage does not necessarily give the biggest of competitive edges -- roughly 54 percent of games have been won by the home team since 1995 -- but the effect is ever-so-slightly more pronounced in the playoffs, perhaps giving the A's the leg up in this case.
The A's have lost their two games by close margins while the Giants have managed to keep just one match within their reach, suffering their worst playoff loss in franchise history on Sunday with their 9-0 defeat. Once again, Oakland appears to have the leg up here (though the concept of "momentum" in baseball is on shaky ground).
Oakland has twice been the victim of losing a Division Series after taking a 2-0 lead. Is this the year they even the score? Or will San Francisco shock the Reds in Cincinnati?