Best MLB Parlay Pitchers
by Mike Hayes - 07/31/2006
Sometimes you don't have to look past the game you like the most to complete a successful baseball parlay as a handful of pitchers with a tendency to either win or lose at an above average rate also have a knack for being in games in which there is a strong run total tendency.
Some of this is easily explained thanks to the performance of the pitcher himself, who might be having a great season with a low ERA, or a pitcher who stinks and in the process loses often with high run totals. Sometimes its not that easy to explain and is the result of a team effort that, for some reason, improves or deteriorates when certain guys get the ball.
So it makes sense when backing or betting against these guys to consider a parlay with the run total. One of the advantages of using the run total in the parlay is that the odds are generally much closer to even then you will find in a straight moneyline bet.
Here are the pitchers who this season have so far been the best to use in parlay wagers with the game total.
Roy Halladay (13-2, 3.06) - Halladay has been among the most profitable pitchers in all of MLB for some time, as the Blue Jays have won 86 percent of his starts, good for a profit of better than $1,200. It might seem surprising considering Halladay's low ERA that 61 percent of the wins have come in games in which the run total went over. However, it's not that shocking when you look at the run support the Jays give their ace. Toronto is 18-3 in games in which Halladay has started. In those 18 wins the potent Blue Jay offense has scored seven or more runs 12 times with an average of 6.8 runs per win.
Johan Santana (12-5, 3.04) - The streaking Twins are 17-5 when Santana takes the hill with 11 of the wins going over the run total - a 65 percent clip. Minnesota is averaging 5.8 runs in these games.
Steve Trachsel (9-5, 5.14) - A walking, breathing parlay. Prior to his last outing Trachsel, thanks to some generous run support, was among the top 10 most profitable starters in baseball. After getting clubbed by the Cubbies he slipped to 15 at plus $579 on the moneyline. The run total has been eclipsed in 10 of the 13 games won by the Mets with Trachsel on the mound, a rate of 77 percent.
Jeremy Bonderman (11-4, 3.66) - At 13-8 the Tigers are winning 62 percent of Bonderman's starts. In 10 of those the run total went under, a rate of 77 percent, so when Bonderman wins there is also a good chance the game will be an under.
Francisco Liriano (12-2, 1.93) - Minnesota is 11-2 in games started by Liriano. In the 11 wins the total has gone under eight times, a rate of 73 percent. A major part of this is Liriano's sub 2.00 ERA.
Aaron Cook (6-9, 3.88) - Rockies are a miserable 6-15 when Cook toes the rubber, a win percentage of just 29 percent. He has pitched much better than the record indicates as evidenced by the ERA and the fact that nine of the losses-- 60 percent -- have been in games that the run total went under.
John Lieber (4-7, 5.52) - The Phillies are 5-9 in Lieber's starts, which is about what you might expect from a pitcher with a 5.52 ERA. What you wouldn't expect though is an under rate of 78 percent which is what has occurred in Lieber loses.
Scott Kazmir (10-7, 3.36) - Rays are winning at a 57 percent clip when the young lefty starts, not bad when you consider how bad Tampa Bay is. The result is a flat-bet moneyline profit of $545 on the season. The run total has gone under in nine of the 12 wins, good for a 75 percent success rate.
Zach Duke (7-9, 5.51) - In spite of the ERA, which has ballooned into the 5s thanks to a lousy July, this guy should have a much better record. Remarkably he has started 12 games that ended up being decided by a single run. Also remarkable is his 3-9 record in these games. He differs from the above mentioned pitchers in that although his tendency is to pitch in games the Bucs lose -- they are just 8-14 in his starts -- the run total has gone under in seven of the eight games that he started in which the Pirates did manage to win.
Send questions or comments to mike@docsports.