With an exciting weekend of baseball ahead before the MLB season reaches its All-Star Break, baseball handicapper Dalton Brown is back with a plus-money play on Friday's slate.
6:40 p.m. ET: Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers: Tigers First 5 Innings moneyline (+130) at Bet365
Alek Manoah is making his return to the bigs for the Blue Jays on Friday in Detroit, and I am enthusiastically fading him until he proves that I should do otherwise. Manoah was famously optioned to rookie ball a few weeks ago after a period of extended struggles, and made headlines again when he surrendered double-digit runs in his first rookie ball appearance.
That particular data point in rookie ball is probably not indicative of anything beyond a night spent "working on things", a bullpen-like approach to a live game. Still, it added fuel to the fire that seems to have been engulfing Manoah all season - and the results are the results.
Before being optioned, Manoah owned an absurd 6.85 xERA and had allowed five or more earned runs in four of seven starts dating back to the beginning of May. When he saw this young Tigers lineup in April, the results were ugly - he struggled to find the zone, walking five batters and surrendering four earned runs in just 4.1 innings of work.
I'm not going to sit here and try to convince you that Detroit's lineup is anything special - it isn't - but Manoah is pure fade material for the time being, and we will readjust if he proves otherwise over the course of a few straight starts. Especially at plus-money.
Of course, it doesn't help Toronto to have played a double-header in Chicago on Thursday before traveling late at night to Detroit. The Tigers, meanwhile, enjoyed a leisurely daytime win over Oakland at home and will be on much fresher legs.