Astros Hit-by-Pitch Totals Futures Now Being Offered by Books in Wake of Cheating Scandal

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:

  • Houston Astros greeted by banging of trash cans at their training camp Monday

  • League has determined the team cheated en route 2017 World Series Championship

  • Some books offering futures on Astros Hit-By-Pitch totals

  • PointsBet released its Hit-By-Pitch total at 75.5 HBPs

  • Only three bets on Astros winning OVER 97.5 regular season games in 2020

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Fans banging trash cans.  This is what greeted the Astros to kick off spring training on Monday.

“I understand the severity of the situation, I truly do,” Astros outfielder George Springer said. “But I think ... the best thing for our game to try to do and especially for us is to try to put this behind us, however that’s possible.”

The Astros were found by Commissioner Rob Manfred to have cheated during their run to the 2017 World Series and again in the 2018 season. The investigation found that Houston used the video feed from a center field camera to see and decode the opposing catcher’s signs. Players banged on a trash can to signal to batters what was coming, believing it would improve the batter’s chances of getting a hit.

Manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year by MLB and subsequently fired by Crane last month. But many around the league feel that Houston’s players should have faced punishment, too and have been quick to express those feelings.

Darren Rovell of The Action Network reports that some sportsbooks are beginning to take full advantage.

Two sportsbooks, William Hill and PointsBet, have now offered new markets to take advantage of the Anti-Astros sentiment — Hit-by-Pitch totals for Houston in the 2020 MLB season. William Hill opened the market on Monday at 83.5 plunkings while PointsBet released its total at 75.5 HBPs.

Another sportsbook, the Superbook in Las Vegas, posted a “First Astros player to be hit by a pitch” prop on Tuesday. The most outspoken and most criticized Astros have the shortest odds. Alex Bregman is the dubious favorite at 7-2 (+350) while Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve are at +400.

Rovell notes that the hottest future bet on the Astros this upcoming season is on the UNDER 95.5.  That's a drop of two wins off 97.5.

“Any bet coming through is typically on the under,” BetMGM sports trader Christian Cipollini, tells The Action Network. Cipollini said the book has only taken three bets on the OVER.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has not revealed if the investigation is ongoing with speculation that key players could be suspended as the season progresses.

- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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