Verlander, the Detroit ace, is arguably the best pitcher on the planet (AL MVP in 2011, AL Cy Young runner-up in 2012), and while there are concerns about his heavy usage to date, he’s still in what should be his prime seasons. Don’t be surprised if once again he offers up a sub-3.00 ERA to go with an innings total that’s near the top of the league. He’s the best pitcher in the division, at the very least.
As for Avila, the 26-year-old owns a career OPS+ of 114, and in each of the last two seasons he ranked in the AL top five for games caught and assists as a catcher. Yes, Joe Mauer is the best all-around backstop in the AL Central, but there’s no Minnesota suitable hurler with which to pair him.
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