- While the Houston Astros cheating scandal is simmering down, opposing pitchers are not, threatening to target the opposing team
- The unwritten rules of baseball point to the Astros receiving a lot of beanballs this season for the crimes they have committed in the baseball world
- The odds sit at +500 for the Astros leading the MLB in players hit by pitch in 2020 – read below to see if that’s a winning wager
One of the most egregious cheating scandals in recent history has the Houston Astros worried about possible unofficial consequences that could come as a result of their sign-stealing operation. These punishments would come in the form of players getting hit by pitch, against teams and pitchers who feel like they cheated the game.
Better yet, some players are taking it far more personally and believe the Astros stole titles or awards from them, which is duly understandable. However, MLB commish Rob Manfred said the punishment for intentionally beaming an Astros player will be more severe, and that he plans to meet with every manager in the MLB to discuss the potential issue.
Astros Lead MLB in Hit by Pitch Odds
|Will the Astros Have the Most Players Hit By Pitch in 2020?||Odds|
All Odds Taken on Feb. 17th, 2020.
Despite the stern warning players such as Ross Stripling, Alex Wood, and Trevor Bauer have all spoken out against the team. Mike Clevinger went as far as saying the following according to ESPN.
I don’t think it’s going to be a comfortable few ABs for a lot of those boys, and it shouldn’t be. They shouldn’t be comfortable.
While the league will be watching to prevent any further conflict between opposing teams and the Astros, surely some sparks will fly this season. Especially against teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers or the New York Yankees, who feel like the star-studded team cheated them out of a title. According to Baseball Reference, in 2019 the Astros were tied for 16th in players hit by pitch, and were 29 beams away from the first place slot held by the the New York Mets.
To give some perspective on how much hit by pitch statistics change, in 2018 the Mets only had 73 hit by pitch walks. Given the luck and chance of actually being hit by a pitch, this bet is extremely risky. Obviously there will be some situations where targeting occurs, but it might not be as much as people think, especially with the commissioner coming out and warning players not to do so. The Astros could see an increase in hit by pitch batters, but it probably will not be enough to lead the league.
Best Bet: Nothing
Player Most Hit by Pitch Odds
|Most Hit by Pitch 2020 Regular Season||Odds|
Now, while the Astros might not lead the league in hit by pitch batters, a few of their players will be targeted more than others. With this comes some less variable attributes that could sway this number; a player’s stance, their antics and other factors can impact their hit by pitch statistics.
One minute and twenty-five seconds combined from Bregman and Altuve. No questions. Absolutely awful.pic.twitter.com/cKlOIVQTld
— Steve Gelbs (@SteveGelbs) February 13, 2020
Last season Bregman was second in the team with nine balls hitting him; Springer, Altuve and Correa had six, three and two, respectively. Bregman being so far ahead of the last two might mean he gets hit by pitch for another abstract reason. With this on top of getting targeted, he is an easy shoe-in for the team leader in hit by pitch, especially given his role in the buzzer scheme.
Best Bet: Bregman (+100)
Astros Mound Charging Odds
|Astros Players to Charge the Mound in Regular Season 2020||Odd|
|Under 1 ½ Charges||-500|
|Over 1 ½ Charges||+300|
This bet seems almost too easy. With all the stars like Mike Trout, Kris Bryant and Cody Bellinger making their stand against the incident it seems as though the players are not going to listen to the league, and will hand out their own punishment instead. Everyone wants their turn with the Astros and are highlighting some dates on their calendars.
Mike Trout on the Astros: “They cheated…I don’t agree with the punishment…I lost respect for some of those guys.”
“Going up to the plate knowing what’s coming…that would be a lot of fun.”
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) February 17, 2020
With this tension building in spring training, expect tempers to flare during the regular season. The Astros are a passionate team and have their say about the situation as well, which makes this an easy pick for them to charge the mound twice at (+300) odds which is great value.
Best Bet: Over 1 1/2 Charges (+300)
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