Odds Predict Houston Astros Players Will Be Targeted, Lead League in Batters Hit by Pitch

Posted on: February 18, 2020, 02:00h. 

Last updated on: February 17, 2020, 03:46h.

The Houston Astros want to move forward from their cheating scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball and called into question the integrity of the game. But oddsmakers and bettors believe opposing players will retaliate.

Houston Astros odds MLB scandal
The Houston Astros have admitted to cheating in previous seasons. (Image: Getty)

An MLB investigation determined that the Astros used a scheme to steal opposing pitchers’ signs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Houston won the World Series in 2017.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued the franchise a maximum $5 million fine, suspended then-GM Jeff Luhnow and Manger AJ Hinch for a year, and stripped the organization of several draft picks. But no players who participated in the cheating were suspended, a decision that has faced much scrutiny.

Sportsbooks are offering prop bets regarding the upcoming season and how opponents might seek revenge. They include whether the Astros will have the most players hit by pitch during the regular season (Yes +200, No -200).

William Hill has the over/under on the total number of times a Houston batter will be hit by a pitch at 83.5.

Zero Tolerance

MLB players are speaking out daily regarding the Houston Astros saga. And many are expressing their criticism of the Astros and the league.

NL MVP Cody Bellinger said, “I lost respect for those guys. I would say everyone … in the big leagues lost respect for those guys.”

Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen said this week that what the Astros did was “worse than gambling,” a reference to Pete Rose remaining banned from the Hall of Fame due to his betting on games in which he managed. Jansen added that the quasi-apologies from Houston players mean little.

“I can go hit you in your face right now and apologize,” Jansen threatened. Fellow Dodgers player Justin Turner argued Manfred is “out of touch.”

I don’t know if the Commissioner has ever won anything in his life,” Turner stated. “But the reason every guy is working out all off-season, and showing up to camp early and putting in all the time and effort is specifically for that trophy, which, by the way, is called the Commissioner’s Trophy.”

Manfred has defended his punishment and lack of suspensions for Astros players. On Sunday, the commissioner told reporters that he had met with several managers regarding potential payback.

“I hope that I made it extremely clear to them that retaliation in-game by throwing at a batter intentionally will not be tolerated, whether it’s Houston or anybody else,” Manfred stated. “It’s dangerous and it is not helpful to the current situation.”

Likely Targets

Oddsmakers are additionally accepting wagers on which Astros players receives the most intentional throws.

Houston third baseman Alex Bregman is the favorite to be intentionally hit the most on the team, his odds at +100. Right fielder George Springer is next (+200), second basemen Jose Altuve third (+300), and shortstop Carlos Correa fifth (+350).

There are also odds on the number of times an Astros player will charge the mound during the regular season. The over/under is at 1.5 charges.