Sportsbooks are predicting a lot of retaliation against Astros batters this season.
In the wake of the Astros sign-stealing scandal, bookmakers such as William Hill are taking bets on the number of times Houston batters are hit by pitches during the regular season. The over-under is currently set at at 83.5 (both options -110), which averages out to slightly more than once every other game.
For reference, the Astros were hit 66 times by opposing pitchers last season. The league-wide average was 66.1 and over the past five seasons, only nine teams have crested the 83-mark, according to ESPN Stats and Information. The 2008 Cleveland Indians were hit 103 times, a modern-era record.
William Hill also offers odds on the range of 81-90 Astros HBPs at +300. Between 141-150 pays out 250-to-1 and 0-50 pays out 20-to-1.
“I’m depending on the league to try to put a stop to this seemingly premeditated retaliation that I’m hearing about,” Houston manager Dusty Baker told reporters on Saturday.
Commissioner Rob Manfred acknowledged that Houston players may be disproportionately targeted by opposing teams and will be issuing a warning to teams this week.
“I hope that I made…