One team has to roll the small ball, being unable to count on home runs.

The other relies on the long ball, its offensive creativity not extending far beyond ways of celebrating said home runs.

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One team now has to pull up stakes and hit the road, venturing into the daunting den of a team that by now has it totally spooked.

The other gets to regroup in its own home park, where the good guys wear black.

One team is so used to this predicament, it may be thinking, "Aw, what's the use?"

The other team is so stunned by this new pickle, it may be thinking, "Is there a way out?"

So which American League club has a better chance of making a historic comeback from an 0-2 Division Series deficit?

One team -- the Angels -- or the other -- the White Sox?

It is difficult to like either's chances; after all, only seven of the first 54 teams to face an 0-2 deficit in a five-game series have come back to win the sets. But Chicago is better positioned for the comeback.

ALDS 2-0 leads
Year
Up 2-0
Winner
Loser
Result
'07
Red Sox
Red Sox
Angels
3-0
'07
Indians
Indians
Yankees
3-1
'06
A's
A's
Twins
3-0
'05
White Sox
White Sox
Red Sox
3-0
'04
Red Sox
Red Sox
Angels
3-0
'03
A's
Red Sox
A's
3-2
'01
A's
Yankees
A's
3-2
'00
Mariners
Mariners
White Sox
3-0
'99
Yankees
Yankees
Rangers
3-0
'99
Indians
Red Sox
Indians
3-2
'98
Yankees
Yankees
Rangers
3-0
'97
Orioles
Orioles
Mariners
3-1
'96
Orioles
Orioles
Indians
3-1
'95
Indians
Indians
Red Sox
3-0
'95
Yankees
Mariners
Yankees
3-2
The White Sox are built for coming back in games, with a lineup that led the Major Leagues with 233 home runs. The same muscle makes them series comeback threats, because power is the grace that keeps giving.

It is up to the uppity Tampa Bay pitchers to defuse that contagious power. If the White Sox can plug it in, the Rays might have a hard time turning Paul Konerko, Jim Thome and Co. off.

"These are the Chicago White Sox," reminded Rays reliever J.P. Howell. "They're a veteran team. They can come back and win three easy if you let them."

Actually, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen thinks Chicago's October weather might give Tampa Bay pitchers an assist with controlling the juice.

"Our ballpark, in summer, it shrinks. It's very, very small," Guillen said. "The balls are flying out there easy. I think right now the weather changed a little bit, and we saw it last time we played against Minnesota [the AL Central tiebreaker, in which Thome's solo homer accounted for the only run]."

If U.S. Cellular indeed expands with autumn chill, that could be a problem for the White Sox, whose quiet 6-2 loss in Game 2 of the series typified their offensive quandary: They hit a lot of homers but, when they aren't hitting them, they are very quiet.

Friday's Division Series game marked the White Sox first without at least one long ball since the Sept. 17 game in Yankee Stadium. In-between, the Pale Hose had homered in 13 consecutive games, during that stretch scoring 35 of its 59 total runs (59 percent) on 21 home runs.

The young Rays have repeatedly proven that they do not run scared. But we're not certain they yet deserve all of their accolades for having unflinchingly won the first two postseason games in club history.

They've played them in the familiar surroundings of Tropicana Field. So far, only the calendar suggested that these were postseason games. But the real message of postseason baseball arrives on the road, from hostile crowds and Midwestern chill.

Of course, if the White Sox manage to return their series to St. Petersburg for a Game 5, that will bring up another problem. Including the two Division Series losses, they are now 3-19 indoors this year.

But that still doesn't loom as big a problem as the one confronting the Angels, whose 100-win reputation has been flicked away by the Red Sox as easily as some pocket lint.

Maybe their predicament has nothing to do with subordination, and everything to do with Boston scouting and execution. But after 11 consecutive postseason losses to the Red Sox, dating back to 1986, the Angels have a bigger need for a couch than a coach.

"We have a challenge," conceded Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "This [series] ain't over until somebody wins three games. We go into Boston, win a game and the pressure is back on them."

Can the Angels get that starter win? Sure, if they get the kind of back-to-back starts from Joe Saunders and John Lackey that they did on July 29-30, when they combined to allow four runs in 15 innings of consecutive wins in Fenway Park.

But they should not count on that. And without that dominant pitching, where will the offense come from? The fact the Angels have gone 60-plus postseason innings without a home run is a cool, but insignificant stat; even at their best, their runs are manufactured, not pre-fab.

Of far more relevance is the fact the Angels have gone 34 postseason innings without scoring more than one run in any one of them.

The Angels have reason to feel like the determined, but overmatched, football team which grinds and grunts out a nine-minute drive for a field goal -- only to have the other guys reply with a no-sweat 85-yard bomb.

All of the Angels' manufacturing and hustle has been undone by a Jason Bay swing here, a J.D. Drew swing there.

"There is a challenge in front of us and the only way to meet it is going to be pitch-by-pitch, inning-by-inning," Scioscia summed up. "We played well in their park all year and now we have to do it again."

Or, go three-and-out trying, again.