William Hill Opens Houston Astros Hit by Pitch Prop for 2020 MLB Season
On Monday, February 17th, 2020, William Hill opened a prop for the Houston Astros, regarding how many Astros batters will be hit by a pitch in the 2020 MLB regular season. Sign up at William Hill using promo code GRINDERS150 to get a free $10 bet + $150 deposit match.
On October 30th, the Washington Nationals beat the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series. Less than two weeks later, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported details on how the Astros stole signs with the help of technological devices on their way to the 2017 World Series. So it was clear, the “good guys” won, at least in 2019.
The MLB issued a two-month long investigation, which confirmed what The Athletic first reported. Subsequently, the league handed out suspensions for Houston’s former manager A.J. Hinch and former general manager and president of baseball operations Jeff Luhnow, fined the Astros the maximum allowable $5 million, and forfeited the team’s first and second-round 2020 and 2021 draft picks. Following these actions, however, has been a comedy of errors committed both by Astros players and the Commissioner’s Office as the league enters spring training.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t suspend one player from the 2017 Astros team, nor did he vacate their 2017 title. Instead, he said it was futile to ask for a “hunk of metal” back. The Astros “apology tour,” namely Carlos Correa’s time slot, has only added fuel to the fire.
Because of what is largely viewed as nothing more than a slap on the wrist of unapologetic Astros players, including 2017 MVP winner Jose Altuve, it is assumed pitchers will take the responsibility of punishing the Astros for, in this case, violating MLB’s written rules.
If you’re like me and your friends are like mine, then it didn’t take long for someone to start discussing hypothetical betting lines on the number of times Astros batters will be hit by a pitch in 2020.
It was only a matter of time before legal US sportsbooks would give us a Houston Astros prop to swing at.
William Hill Astros Props: O/U 83.5 Batters Hit by Pitch
Now, amidst spring training and the drama between the Houston Astros and the other 29 MLB teams, William Hill has come to the rescue. Yes, sports bettors can officially wager on how many times Houston Astros players will be hit by a pitch at William Hill’s online sportsbook.
William Hill-US’s Director of Trading, Nick Bogdanovich, was quoted on the sportsbook’s Facebook page.
“The trading team and I are always looking for unique angles that we think will interest sports fans. Houston is the talk of baseball so we wanted to make props that we felt were relevant and timely,” Bogdanovich said.
Unfortunately, the line isn’t currently available on William Hill’s NJ sports betting site. For the time being, you’ll have to trek out to the desert for this prop.
William Hill opened the prop line for Houston batters hit by a pitch in the regular season Over/Under 83.5. Other betting options include longer odds at the exact number of times batters will be hit.
To go over 83.5, opposing pitchers will need to hit Astros batters only 14 more times than they did in 2017. Last year, Astros players were hit 66 times, while they were hit only 61 times in 2018.
It is worth noting that the Commissioner’s Office has preemptively come out strong against retaliation in the form of “wild” fastballs, warning teams that there will be increased punishment and that the MLB is working on a memorandum for intentionally hitting players this year.
“It’s really dangerous, really a dangerous undertaking, and completely independent of the Astros investigation we will be issuing at the beginning of this week a memorandum on hit by pitches which will increase the ramifications of that type of behavior,” Manfred told ESPN’s Karl Ravech.
The Astros don’t have to face the Dodgers in interleague play, and they won’t face the New York Yankees until mid-May.
Will Manfred’s warning be enough, or are Astros players in for a world of hurt as pitchers seek just with the ball in their hand this season? I’m leaning into the Over when it comes to this unique Astros prop.
For more general MLB betting tips, please refer to our MLB Betting Picks Strategy Guide.
Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images