MLB odds: How many times will Astros players be hit by pitches in 2020?
In the wake of the sign-stealing scandal and some less-than-impressive apologies from team owner Jim Crane and some of the top players, it's not hyperbole to say that the Houston Astros might be the most despised team in modern baseball history right now. And not just by the fans everywhere outside of Houston but also by other players. Every day seems to bring more outrage from opponents over the level of punishment – i.e. none to the players – that Commissioner Rob Manfred doled out.
Manfred already has met with the managers of the 15 teams who hold Spring Training in Florida and warned them against any retribution against Astros players this season; he will do the same with the managers in Arizona.
"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 said. "It's dangerous and it is not helpful to the current situation."
Well, it's going to happen and William Hill put out some really interesting MLB odds on Houston batters being hit by a pitch during the regular season. The Over-Under is 83.5 times with both options at -110. That would be about once every other game. Last season, teams were hit by an average of 66.1 pitches, and the modern era record for HBP by one team is 103 by the 2008 Cleveland Indians.
The single-season record for HBP by one player – look out Jose Altuve!! – is 51 by someone named Hughie Jennings in 1896. The modern-day single-season record is 50 by Ron Hunt in 1971. Last year, the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo led by getting plunked 27 times. Rizzo isn't a hated player, but he crowds the plate.
Also, William Hill lists various MLB odds totals where the Astros actually land. The favorite is 81-90 hit by pitches at 3/1 (300). The long shot is 141-150 at 250/1 (+25000). Between zero and 50 is 20/1 (+2000).
Spring Training games begin Saturday around the majors in Florida and Arizona (there's one game Friday), but these props are regular season only.
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