The 2020 Major League Baseball season is rapidly approaching, but with pitchers and catchers having already reported and spring training games almost here, there’s one main topic of conversation around baseball: the Houston Astros cheating scandal.
Players around the league are rightfully upset right now. Sanctions against the Astros were the most severe that MLB has ever issued against a member club. To opponents, though, a $5-million fine, the loss of a pair of draft picks and the removal of ex-manager A.J. Hinch and former GM Jeff Luhnow aren’t enough. Retribution could be coming the old-fashioned way.
How Many Astros Batters Will Get Beaned?
With the season set to begin on March 26, online sportsbook Sportsbook has released prop specials on what’s going to happen to the Astros this year. The book has the OVER/UNDER on the number of Astros batters getting hit by a pitch in the upcoming campaign at 80.5, with the juice on the OVER at +120 and the UNDER priced at -160.
Interestingly enough, the shop doesn’t expect Houston to lead MLB in batters hit by pitches in 2020. The odds of the ‘Stros not being the squad that gets beaned the most are heavily favored at -220, with the YES option coming back as the +155 underdog.
Don’t Expect Many Mound Chargers from Houston
Can the Astros really show restraint if they’re consistently targeted by opposing pitchers? Sportsbook believes so. Oddsmakers have set the total for the number of Houston hitters to charge the mound this season at 1.5, with the UNDER the likeliest outcome (-160). If you’re leaning toward the OVER, it’s available at +200.
Correa Has Been the Most Vocal Astro
The most interesting prop on the oddsboard is undoubtedly which player will get plunked the most in 2020. Alex Bregman is the +100 fave, followed by George Springer (+200), Jose Altuve (+300) and Carlos Correa (+350).
It’s an odd thing to handicap, but I think there’s plenty of value on Correa at +350. Correa has been the most vocal Astros player to speak out against the criticism his club has received, telling L.A. Dodgers star Cody Bellinger to “shut the f--- up” through the media after Bellinger called out the Astros for their rampant cheating.
‘Know the Facts’
Considering the Astros beat the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series – one of the seasons they’ve been busted for cheating – Bellinger’s frustrations make sense. Correa disputed Bellinger’s claim that Altuve “stole” the AL MVP from Aaron Judge in 2017, calling Bellinger’s statements “false” while stating the Dodgers star didn’t know the facts since he’s not informed.
Those comments likely won’t sit well across the league, so don’t be surprised if Correa is targeted more than the rest of his teammates.
Do you think the Astros will be subject to a litany of beanballs this year, or will the league step in and warn opposing teams that penalties could be coming if this becomes an issue? Have your say in the comment section. For more baseball betting information, head over to our MLB page.