With less than 10 games left in the Major League Baseball regular season, Aaron Judge needs one home run to tie Rogers Maris’ American League record, but the Yankees slugger last hit a dinger on Sept. 20 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
New York’s matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday marks seven days since fans saw Judge hit his 60th home run of the season. The Maris family has traveled to see Judge potentially tie and break the record, but they and many fans have witnessed the Yankees outfielder walk 12 times in a seven-game stretch, including three times by the Boston Red Sox on Sept. 22 and four times by the Blue Jays on Tuesday.
The strategy to walk Judge has been a trend since the All-Star break, and it makes sense for a team like Toronto, who hope to maintain their lead in the American League Wild Card standings with the Baltimore Orioles sitting 3.5 games back.
However, sounds strategy is not what bettors have wanted. The most popular MLB bet across sportsbooks since Sept. 20 has occasionally been Judge to go Over 0.5 home runs. In general, bookmakers encourage the Over on the prop because, as we’ve seen, hitting a home run is an unlikely proposition, so this means Over bets come with plus odds and Under bets come with minus odds. You’re expected value on betting against Judge in home run props are not high.
Case in point, the odds on his Under home run prop is set at -390. A $100 bet on this would only pay out $125.64. So betting on Judge to hit a home run would, theoretically, cash more money, but bettors have lost $700 during Judge’s cold stretch. But what would the potential profits be if the props hit? Let’s look at what the odds were since Sept. 20, as well as Wednesday’s odds for the Yankees slugger, odds according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
Sept. 21 versus Pirates: +180
Sept. 22 versus Red Sox: +205
Sept. 23 versus Red Sox: +200
Sept. 24 versus Red Sox: +145
Sept. 25 versus Red Sox: +175
Sept. 26 versus Blue Jays: +185
Sept. 27 versus Blue Jays: +190
Sept. 28 versus Blue Jays: +265
It’s first worth nothing the Sept. 25 game was cut short due to rain. Judge was due for an at-bat, which reportedly kept the rain delay longer than it probably should have. New York manager reportedly threatened to sit Judge to halt the game to six innings.
The likelihood of Judge hitting a home run in seven straight games — tying for the second-longest streak in MLB history — would be unlikely. But let’s have some fun. How much profit would be made if Judge’s home run prop hit in his seven-game homerless streak? $1,980. A $100 bet Wednesday for Judge to finally tie Maris’ record would pay out $365, which would put an eight-day total at $2,345.
Of course, Judge’s future in New York is a big story, but in the final stretch of the regular season, fans are hoping the slugger can finally hit 61 and possibly 62 just to see history be made.