Last Updated on February 18, 2020


By now, we are all familiar with the Astros cheating scandal. They have fired their general manager, manager, been fined, and have been looked at poorly in the public eye. That’s just the half of it though. Since the news was released, Astros players, coaches, and even the owner have dug the hole deeper and deeper and has left a stain for baseball. Keep in mind, this may have affected some results in the MLB playoffs and more. As far as the sports betting industry has gone, we have seen plenty of newsworthy stories to come from this. PointsBet refunded all Yankees futures bets as part of their “Karma Kommittee” promotion, crediting bettors who lost out due to the Astros’ cheating, a daily fantasy sports player is suing, and it’s doubtful that is the last we’ve heard.

The next step is when the Astros take the field next, they will certainly be subject to more ridicule and “punishment”. William Hill Sportsbook has posted a unique pair of bets, leaving just how often the Astros will be hit by a pitch in 2020 to bettors. Now you can bet on a domino effect from this scandal, as William Hill smartly looks to take advantage of the hot-button topic. Let’s take a look.


Astros Batters Hit By Pitch Over or Under

On twitter, William Hill shared their latest prop bet on the Houston Astros getting hit by a pitch. The over/under is set at 83.5. With the MLB commissioner responding to Astros’ manager Dusty Baker’s comments about protecting his players, the number 83.5 will be a topic of discussion. Will the MLB quickly enforce and eject players that throw intentionally at Astros players? Will the umpires let it slide? 83.5 means just over 0.5 hit-by-pitches per game. Last season, three teams were hit more than 83.5 times, with the Mets leading with 95 hit-by-pitches. Last season, the Astros were hit 66 times.


How Many Times Will the Astros Get Plunked?

William Hill also released a second version of the “Hit by Pitch” prop, with multiple props based on different ranges of the Astros getting hit by pitches in tiers of 10. This is quite interesting because some ranges show a great return on investment. Last year, the average hit by pitch was 66. If a bettor were to bet one unit on 0-50, 51-60, 61-70, and 71-80, that would yield a break-even or profit if there were 70 or fewer hit by pitches. Remember, the Astros were hit 66 times last season, the league average was 66 times, and the commissioner already said they would punish teams that intentionally hit the Astros. There seems to be value here, for sure.


History Sides with the Under

Season Astros Hit By Pitch Average Hit by Pitch (League)
2019 66 66
2018 61 64
2017 70 57
2016 47 55
2015 56 53

With the over/under set at 83.5, as you can see the Astros are trending to be way under if you look at the last five seasons. Of course, they were not found guilt of cheating in the past but they also weren’t protected from intentional HBP pre-season either. Despite the average amount of hit-by-pitches trending upwards in the last five years, there seems to be clear value on under 83.5 and the value of 61-70 and 71-80.

William Hill has taken advantage of a popular story, but will bettors side with one side too heavily? Time will tell.


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