MLB Parlay Builder: 5-Leg Season-Long Entry for the 2024 season

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

While the MLB season has technically already begun with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres splitting the Seoul Series last week, things kick off for good this Thursday. Baseball is back, and it’s the most exciting time of the year as we get to see new faces on new teams, familiar ones return to the stage, and season-long debates on who will or won’t meet expectations. Making season-long entries can be difficult because of how unpredictable injuries can be and how much data is publicly available.

Finding the right numbers to look at and the right players to bet on can be difficult, but we’ve cooked up a season-long parlay (+2151) that combines some higher-percentage plays with calculated risks to give us a potentially massive payout.

Anthony Volpe: OVER 24.5 Stolen Bases

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at New York Yankees
Mar 22, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (11) hits a base hit against the New York Mets in the fourth inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have high hopes for their second-year shortstop, as Anthony Volpe has a flatter swing that should result in more hits and a higher OBP. An increase in OBP means an increase in trips to first base, giving the 22-year-old infielder more opportunities to swipe second base. Last year, he stole 24 bases in 29 attempts despite slowing his pace down in the second half, and we believe that he’ll exceed that number as he looks to push the envelope more. The Yankees want their young infielder to take on a greater role in the offense, and that means putting pressure on pitchers with his speed.

At the Minor League level, he was an aggressive baserunner as well, and throughout a full season with more opportunities to be on base, he could even reach the 30-steal plateau. It isn’t a slamdunk play, as you can’t guarantee an increase in aggressiveness or that a player will maintain their efficiency, but it’s a smart play given the natural progression that most young hitters take after their rookie season, and any increase to the volume of times Anthony Volpe will stand on first base should increase the volume of stolen bases as well.

Francisco Alvarez: OVER 22.5 Home Runs

francisco alvarez, mets
New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) rounds third base on his way to home in the seventh inning of a baseball game between the New York Mets and the Cincinnati Reds, Thursday, May 11, 2023, in Cincinnati. Credit: Syndication: The Enquirer

Francisco Alvarez hit 25 home runs last season in just 123 games as a rookie, and entering his age-22 season, the catching phenom should exceed the 22-HR total. There is a natural injury risk when we’re talking about a player who spends that much time behind the plate, but the power upside is still great. He took more plate appearances as the ninth hitter for the Mets than any other spot in the lineup, but with his strong first season, the Mets could feature him higher in their lineup, resulting in more chances to hit home runs.

Last season, the sophomore catcher barreled 12.8% of batted balls with a 114.1 Max Exit Velocity, and all he needs to do is play enough games at this point. There aren’t any red flags in his injury history and the Mets don’t have anyone who would usurp him as their catcher, even if he was to struggle. Francisco Alvarez is part of a young core emerging in Queens, and the organization is in the middle of a transitional year as they try to reset their payroll and go after a loaded free agent class this winter.

CJ Abrams: OVER 36.5 Stolen Bases

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Washington Nationals
Sep 19, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop CJ Abrams (5) lies at third base after hitting a triple against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most exciting young players in the league, CJ Abrams stole 47 bases in just 51 attempts, and we believe he’ll continue to be an aggressive baserunner. The Washington Nationals are likely going to lead him off, and with more trips to the plate he’ll likely have more hits and walks, resulting in more chances to steal bases. His .300 OBP is underwhelming, but Abrams improved his offensive profile as the season went on, he had a 101 wRC+ and stole 38 bases as the Nationals pushed him to the leadoff spot and made him a more aggressive base stealer.

This could be a huge season for the 23-year-old, and we think that the Nationals making him a permanent fixture at the top of the order will only produce more steals. While 36.5 is a huge line, the shift in stolen-base aggression was noticeable, and the Nationals will need him to run wild for them to produce runs. Washington doesn’t have much star power on their roster, and that might make CJ Abrams more likely to create scoring opportunities with his legs this upcoming season.

Christopher Morel: OVER 25.5 Home Runs

MLB: Spring Training-Texas Rangers at Chicago Cubs
Mar 17, 2024; Mesa, Arizona, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Christopher Morel (5) hits against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Another player who exceeded their projected line the year prior, Christopher Morel hit 26 home runs in just 107 games, and the right-handed hitting infielder is expected to be the Chicago Cubs’ starting third baseman. This means we’ll see him in the lineup for a full season rather than him opening the year at Triple-A, and unlike most strikeout-heavy hitters, Morel can hit righties and lefties well, so there’s no platoon risk here either. Given the overall lack of pitching in the NL Central, one can expect that he’ll get easier matchups than most due to scheduling as well.

Morel is one of the best home run hitters in the game due to his monstrous power, as he barreled 15.5% of batted balls with a loft-oriented swing, and he was on pace for 36 home runs over 150 games last season. All of this comes down to playing time, and most projection models have him hitting 25-26 home runs, but each of them projects him for under 140 games on the season. He hasn’t spent time on the IL in his career, and that durability and power should make him a strong value bet.

Spencer Strider: OVER 247.5 Strikeouts

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Pittsburgh Pirates
Aug 8, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Atlanta Braves pitcher Spencer Strider (99) looks on during batting practice before a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball’s reigning strikeout king, Spencer Strider boasted a ridiculous 36.8% strikeout rate across 186.2 innings, leading to an incredible 281 punchouts on the season. Injury risk for any pitcher is high, as even the most durable guys like Gerrit Cole and Sandy Alcantara have gone down with elbow issues over the last year. It’s a large total, but Strider being remotely healthy should allow him to crush it. The inclusion of a new curveball has already paid off massive dividends in Spring Training, striking out nearly 40% of batters faced, and he could be built up for more innings in 2024.

Strider averaged six innings per start over his final 18 starts, and if he can keep that pace up over 32 starts, we’ll see a bump in innings which bodes well for the strikeout total. There’s a chance that he will become the first pitcher to strike out 300 batters since Gerrit Cole did it in 2019, and the power fastball with two elite breaking balls should make him an absolute nightmare for opposing hitters. No one gets more swings and misses than Spencer Strider, and we expect him to continue his reign of dominance in 2024.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: