One of the reasons the Tigers were supposed to win their division by a dozen games was that Alex Avila was supposed to be something close to the historically great catcher he was last season. If you believe in adjusted OPS, it was one of the 50-best seasons by a catcher in history. It was even better before he tired toward the end of the year.
This year, he's been perfectly average -- his OPS+ is 100, which is the very definition of average. He's still a net positive, of course, because it's nearly impossible to find an average-hitting catcher, but he certainly hasn't been as productive as he was last year.
But last year he was great in the regular season, and absolutely, stunningly, completely dreadful last year in the playoffs. -- 3-for-41 with a homer. I think he'd take an average regular season if it were paired with a monster postseason.
He's off to a good start, then:
That's a solo shot, and it put the Tigers up 3-1. And with Justin Verlander on the mound, that has to feel like a 5-1 lead.