Astros player props: Will scandal affect Houston's star hitters?
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While we await news on the upcoming MLB season, we're sifting through the best player props by team to find preseason value on some of baseball's biggest names. Today, we break down the Houston Astros. The Astros have led the majors in batting average in two of the last three years (2017, 2019), but they enter 2020 under a cloud of uncertainty.

PLAYER AVG OVER UNDER
Alex Bregman .285 -115 -115
Carlos Correa .275 -115 -115
George Springer .280 -115 -115
Jose Altuve .300 -115 -115
Michael Brantley .290 -115 -115
Yordan Alvarez .280 -115 -115

Alex Bregman (.285)

Even the most skeptical Houston observers should have difficulty projecting regression for Bregman, who steadily improved his batting average from .284 (2017) to .286 (2018) to .296 (2019). He led the majors in walks a year ago and is among the best in the bigs at making contact. This should be an easy over for last year's American League MVP runner-up.

Carlos Correa (.275)

Correa has hit at least .274 in four of his five major-league seasons, though a disappointing .239 in 2018 gives some pause to the over here. His contact rates returned to normal in a bounce-back 2019, so it's fair to expect another strong campaign from the young shortstop in 2020.

George Springer (.280)

Springer has cleared .280 twice in his six-year career - he hit .283 during a now-tainted 2017 season, and he batted .292 a year ago while posting career-best power numbers and fly-ball rates. That could certainly carry into 2020, but the safer bet is to expect a bit of regression and numbers closer to his career .270 average.

Jose Altuve (.300)

Those fading this number will do so based on age, contempt, or skepticism about Altuve's post-scandal success. All are perfectly fine reasons to go under. But the 30-year-old former MVP hit .298 in 2019 after five straight seasons of .300 or better, and he batted .325 over the second half of the year.

Michael Brantley (.290)

Excluding Brantley's injury-marred 2016 season, during which he played just 11 games, the 33-year-old outfielder has hit .299 or better in each of his last five years. He's also posted a contact rate at or above 90% in all 11 seasons of his career. Even if he regresses with age, this over is as safe as it gets.

Yordan Alvarez (.280)

Alvarez burst onto the scene with a .313 average in 313 at-bats last year, consistently hitting above .300 in five months of action as a rookie. But is it sustainable? A sky-high BABIP (.366) and unusually high hard-hit rate (51.1%) signal some regression for the sophomore, who will likely settle just below his betting total.

C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.

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Astros player props: Will scandal affect Houston's star hitters?
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