Welcome to the League Divisional Series. Eight teams enter, but our goal today is to make money using realistic narrative-based MLB same-game parlays. Rather than aimlessly picking legs to garner a big payout, we will be following a common thread with likely outcomes.
Why Narrative-Based MLB Same-Game Parlays?
The point of narrative-based MLB same-game parlays is to combine bets that are likely to all happen. For example, if a team wins, at least one member of the team would have to record a run. Instead of just picking the team to win in a single bet, it is often more lucrative to add a likely-to-hit leg to the parlay. If a player plays well, his team is that much more likely to win, so it makes sense to combine positive player performances with his team’s victory.
MLB Same-Game Parlays
MLB Same-Game Parlays: Twins at Astros (+396, five legs)
Common Thread: Justin Verlander will shut down the Twins.
Verlander has a spotty playoff resume, but he generally brings good depth in October. He is fully rested, and his playoff experience should be a big advantage over a young Twins’ side.
Leg 1: Astros -1.5 (+130)
Taking the Astros on the moneyline is an option, but the experienced Astros should win by multiple runs with strong efforts from both Verlander and the lineup.
Leg 2: Justin Verlander 5+ Strikeouts (-670)
One could choose a higher number of strikeouts, but five is a safe bet. In his playoff career, Verlander has 230 strikeouts in 207.2 innings. Last season, he struck out 25 batters in 20 innings of work.
Leg 3: Astros -2.5 (+215)
Let’s embrace the potential blowout. The Astros have the pitching advantage with Verlander, and their lineup is deeper than Minnesota’s, and they have plenty of postseason experience. Instead of this bet, one could opt to take player props for the likes of Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, and Kyle Tucker.
Legs 4 and 5: Astros o4.5 (+128) & Twins u3.5 (-128)
Given the established narrative that the Astros will win by multiple runs, let’s pair an Astros’ over with a Twins’ under. Mixing these two bets into the current parlay boosts the odds without changing the overall likelihood of the game falling within the constructed narrative.
MLB Same-Game Parlays: Phillies at Braves (+3493, nine legs)
Common Thread: If the Phillies win, they will likely chase Spencer Strider early.
Strider had plenty of success against the Phillies this season, but it is hard to forget his playoff ERA which is currently north of 19 based on his start against these Phillies last October. The Phillies will not be intimidated by Strider’s velocity, so they could strike early and often.
Leg 1: Phillies Moneyline (+176)
As good as the Braves have been in 2023, the Phillies’ moneyline is too good to pass up as the start of the narrative. If we expect the Phillies to win, we can predict with reasonable certainty that several events, the following bets, are going to happen.
Leg 2: Spencer Strider Under 7.5 Strikeouts (+124)
Strider has been the king of the strikeout, but eight strikeouts is a massive tally for a pitcher who has never pitched more than three innings in a playoff game. Even if Strider advances into the sixth or seventh inning, the Phillies will likely be swinging and putting the ball in play.
Leg 3: Phillies o5.5 (+285)
Strider has been prone to blowup starts, with his near-4.00 ERA hurting his Cy Young candidacy, and the Phillies are explosive of an offense in baseball. When Strider gets in trouble, he allows a lot of hard contact and home runs. The Phillies have the likes of Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper to put a ball in the seats and post a big run total.
Legs 4, 5, and 6: Trea Turner to Record a Hit (-210), Run (+155), and RBI (+230)
Turner is a playoff veteran set near the top of Philadelphia’s order. His contact-first approach should give him a reasonable chance at a hit, and the cast of run-producers behind Turner should give him a run. Getting an RBI is the toughest part of this set, but Schwarber should get on in front of Turner at least once.
Legs 7, 8, and 9: Bryce Harper to Record a Hit (-175), Run (+115), and RBI (+180)
Harper, similar to Turner, is a solid bet to have a productive playoff game. Last season, Harper won NLCS MVP and demolished National League pitching. He has been dominant at the plate since the All-Star Break, finishing the season with better stats than any other designated hitter besides Shohei Ohtani – despite missing the first chunk of the season.
MLB Same-Game Parlays: Diamondbacks at Dodgers (+7400, six legs)
Common Thread: The Dodgers’ stars will lead them to victory.
Anchored by a slew of future Hall of Famers, the Dodgers have more than enough star power and experience to dispatch the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers are also looking to put last season’s disappointment behind them.
Leg 1: Dodgers -1.5 (+104)
Similar to the Astros pick, taking the Dodgers on the run line is the much more lucrative option. Given the Dodgers’ wealth of postseason experience and home-field advantage, they should notch a win by multiple runs.
Leg 2: Clayton Kershaw Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-142)
The Dodgers know the playoffs are more of a relay race instead of a sprint. For this, expect Kershaw (and other starters) to go shorter into games, especially early in the playoff run.
Leg 3: Merrill Kelly Under 4.5 Strikeouts (+104)
For this bet, the logic is that the Dodgers will prioritize contact rather than the all-or-nothing strategy that leads to gaudy strikeout tallies. While Kelly performed admirably during the regular season as a co-ace to Zac Gallen, a night game at Dodger Stadium in October is a tall order for Kelly.
Legs 4 and 5: Mookie Betts to Record a Double (+320) and 2+ Runs (+270)
In 55 playoff games, Betts has scored multiple runs 10 times, and he has 17 doubles. He is coming off a stellar regular season, and he has the benefit of hitting at the top of the Dodgers’ order with the ever-present Freddie Freeman behind him. Taking Betts’ total bases props is also a viable one that would cover a potential home run.
Leg 6: Freddie Freeman to Record an RBI (+125)
With Betts on base ahead of Freeman, Freeman’s +125 seems too low. Freeman tallied 59 doubles in the regular season, and his well-rounded profile is sure to drive in plenty of runs in the postseason. Last season, Freeman had a 1.286 OPS in the playoffs with three RBI in four games.
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