On-field retaliation toward the Houston Astros feels inevitable following their sign-stealing scheme, so much so it's now commanding its own betting line.
Alex Bregman (+350; bet $100 to win $350) is the odds-on favorite to be hit by a pitch first, and he's followed by Jose Altuve (+400), Carlos Correa (+400) and George Springer (+450), per SuperBookUSA:
Upon completing its investigation, MLB confirmed the Astros utilized a replay room to illegally steal signs from opposing teams during the 2017 season. Houston defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series that year.
The sense of injustice throughout the league has been heightened by what many players view as a light punishment from MLB officials.
The Athletic's Evan Drellich reported MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred declined to suspend any Astros players because he expected any ban would be overturned on appeal. Manfred also explained to ESPN's Karl Ravech he was worried what kind of precedent he would've set by stripping the Astros of their 2017 title.
That has led to multiple players speaking openly about potentially meting out their own form of punishment when facing Houston this season, leaving new Astros manager Dusty Baker concerned about possible retaliation and what the league might do to deter it: