Is Aaron Judge about to break the Yankees’ home run record? The betting market is certainly leaning one way with a little more than two weeks to go in the regular season.
The New York slugger hit two more home runs Tuesday night in Boston, Nos. 56 and 57 on the season, and he now very much has Roger Maris in sight.
The Yankees have 20 games remaining in the regular season. Four home runs in 20 games is all it will take to match Maris’ 1961 mark that stood as the all-time franchise record for 37 years. Judge’s 57 home runs in 142 Yankees games means he’s hitting eight dingers per 20-game stretch. Assuming he plays every game the rest of the way and keeps up anything resembling that pace, he’ll obviously blow by Maris. Conservatively, he’s looking at 63 or 64.
Oddsmakers and bettors have made it clear where they stand. As of Wednesday morning, here’s where DraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM stand on the Judge chase, via FTNBets’ prop shop.
Under 61.5 +340
Over 61.5 -475
Under 61.5 +125
Over 61.5 -155
Those figures, it should be mentioned, are for those respective sportsbooks in New Jersey. In New York, the DraftKings numbers are the same, but OVER is a prohibitive -450 favorite at BetMGM where they’re probably writing even more tickets to the over from Yankees fans.
The big question is whether Judge can keep up the pace. Hitting home runs isn’t as easy as he makes it look. The second question, which is related, is a little more difficult to figure out: Will Judge get enough pitches to hit? Looking at New York’s schedule the rest of the way, it has 11 games left against the Red Sox, Pirates or Rangers. Those teams are all eliminated or very close to it, so they’re probably less likely to flat-out avoid pitching to Judge in the midst of a playoff push.
Their other nine games come against Milwaukee, Toronto and Baltimore. The Brewers are two games out of the Wild Card hunt in the National League. They literally should never pitch to Judge in that three-game set this weekend. The Blue Jays look to have one of the three American League Wild Card spots locked up, though, and the Orioles will probably know their playoff fate by the season’s penultimate series. FanGraphs gives them a less than 2% chance to make the playoffs, so we’ve got a pretty good idea of how that will shake out.
Judge feels as close to a lock as you could get given the circumstance, which obviously is reflected in the betting odds, too.