Zerillo: How the Astros’ Discipline Affects the 2020 MLB Betting Landscape


Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images.

Jan 13, 2020, 05:20 PM EST

Just after 2 p.m. ET on Monday, Major League Baseball finally announced the disciplinary measures taken after their investigation into the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal:

  • A $5 million fine
  • Loss of first and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021
  • Year-long suspensions for general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch

Within the hour, Astros owner Jim Crane fired both Luhnow and Hinch, and Crane announced that he would run the baseball operations department for the time being.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was Houston’s bench coach in 2017, is expected to encounter a similarly harsh outcome.

By all accounts, Cora was the ring-leader in Houston’s cheating efforts – and he likely employed similar tactics with the Red Sox en route to Boston’s 2018 championship.

The court of public opinion has already passed its judgment: Cora should, and likely will lose his job too.

So where does that leave us, as bettors, heading into 2020 – with two star-studded World Series contenders and recent champions coming under entirely new leadership?

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Boston Red Sox

  • Listed Win Total: 90.5
  • Projected Win Total: 85
  • Projected Divisional Probability: 15%
  • Projected World Series Probability: 2%

Even before the Astros cheating scandal swallowed up Cora, 2020 looked to be a transition year for the Red Sox.

They brought in a new general manager, Chaim Bloom, from the Rays to help cut costs, and Bloom has no direct ties with or loyalty to Cora.