For a lot of reasons, the A's might be your sentimental choice in this series, unless of course you're a Tigers fan or you hated Moneyball. And there are reasons to like the A's to win this series; chief among them, the A's won more games and posted a better run differential than the Tigers, in a tougher division.
But as Joe Sheehan wrote in his (subscription required) newsletter today, this match-up doesn't seem to favor the A's:
This is not a good matchup for the A's. You beat the Tigers by putting the ball in play, and the A's do that less than any team in baseball. They struck out 1387 times and batted just .238; they want to play take'n'rake; just one AL team allowed fewer walks and just two allowed fewer homers than did the Tigers. You can hang some of that on a schedule that featured 72 games against the White Sox, Royals, Twins and Indians. The latter three brought up the rear in the AL in homers hit, while the White Sox and Royals were in the bottom four in walks drawn. It adds up. Nevertheless, the fuel the A's need to run their machine will be in short supply.
I don't really have anything to add to that. The A's just aren't the right team to take advantage of the Tigers' porous defense, and we might see a lot of strikeouts in this series. I don't know that the Tigers should be favored, by much if at all. But we can probably go ahead and defenestrate those winning percentages and run differentials.