Oddsmakers Expect MLB Pitchers to Target Astros Hitters in 2020

William Hill's over/under on the number of Houston batters to get hit this season is 83.5

Oddsmakers Expect Pitchers to Target Houston Astros Hitters in 2020
Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros gets hit by a pitch. (Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty)
MLB Photos via Getty Images

Oddsmakers expect Houston Astros batters are going to have a problem with getting hit by pitches in 2020.

London-based sportsbook William Hill has set the over/under on the number of Houston batters to get hit this season at 83.5.

Though only nine teams have been hit by pitches more than 83.5 times in the past five seasons, oddsmakers anticipate that rage over the sign-stealing scandal involving Houston, which the team has been very unapologetic about, will lead to Astros batters having targets on their backs this season.

In response to pitchers such as Ross Stripling of the Dodgers and Mike Clevinger of the Indians indicating they would consider throwing at Astros players in 2020, Houston manager Dusty Baker said he was depending on MLB to protect his players.

“I’m depending on the league to try to put a stop to this seemingly premeditated retaliation that I’m hearing about,” Baker said. “And in most instances in life, you get kind of reprimanded when you have premeditated anything. I’m just hoping that the league puts a stop to this before somebody gets hurt.”

Last season, the Mets led MLB in being hit by pitches as New York batters were plunked by opposing hurlers 95 times. The Cincinnati Reds (89), Oakland A’s (87), Chicago Cubs (83) and Minnesota Twins (81) rounded out the top five. The Astros were hit 66 times, 17th-most in MLB. 

Individually, Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo led the majors last season by being hit by a pitch 27 times. No member of the Astros was even in the top 20.

Cleveland Indians batters were hit 103 times in 2008, the most in the modern era.

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