New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge sees favorable odds in his Home Runs chase, as does St Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols.
Aaron Judge’s push to set a new home runs record got its latest boost last night when the 30-year-old slugger smashed two bombs in Boston. Judge connected on home runs Nos. 56 and 57 during New York’s 7-6 victory over the rival Red Sox. His performance on Tuesday shortened his home runs odds even further.
With his 57th homer of the season, Judge pulled even in the all-time record books with Alex Rodriguez for the second-most home runs in a season by a right-handed hitter in the AL. Judge remains two short of breaking the all-time mark shared by Hank Greenberg (1938) and Jimmie Foxx (1932). Judge now sports 10 multi-home run games this season, third-most for one year in MLB history. According to ESPN Stats & Information, he trails only Sammy Sosa (1998) and Greenberg, who both accomplished the feat 11 times in one season.
So, the question becomes, with 20 games remaining, will Judge break Yankees’ great Roger Maris’ 61-year-old home run record? The odds indicate he will.
Home Runs Odds Update
Prior to Judge’s performance on Tuesday, Caesars listed the odds for over 61.5 home runs at -160. Ironically, that figure carried with it a 61.5 percent implied probability of setting a new AL record. Caesars juiced the under for this wager at +130.
Following Tuesday night’s game, other sportsbooks have adjusted their home runs odds.
The odds at DraftKings carry with it an 82.61 percent implied probability at this point. A $100 wager at those odds would bring just $21.05 in winnings. The odds at Fanduel carry an 81.82 percent implied probability. A $100 wager there would bring slightly higher winnings at $22.22.
Finding positive expected value (+EV) will be difficult in the current market as most sportsbooks inflate the over for props like this. Making the wager at this point would be more about fun and backing Judge’s record-breaking push than anything else.
Judge sees nine home games remaining at homer-friendly Yankee Stadium, but the slugger’s splits don’t necessarily favor the Bronx. He’s hit 29 home runs at home this season, and 28 on the road.
He’s currently on pace to finish with 65 homers, the most in a single season since Barry Bonds bashed 73 in 2001 to set the all-time record. If Judge hit 65, he’d be the fifth player in MLB history to do so and the first American Leaguer to do so since 1961.
Judge’s Monster Season
Judge’s performance this season has him in the running for another historical achievement, the Triple Crown. He currently has 22 more home runs than the next closest AL hitter (Mike Trout, 35) and his 123 RBI gives him a 14 RBI cushion in that race (Jose Ramirez, 109). But by going 3-for-4 in Boston on Tuesday, Judge raised his batting average to .310, closing the gap between AL leader Luis Arraez (.319).
The last player to win the Triple Crown was Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, who did so in 2012. Only two Yankees have ever accomplished the feat, Mickey Mantle (1956) and Lou Gehrig (1934).
Beyond the Triple Crown, Judge could accomplish another rare feat, leading MLB in homers, RBI, runs scored, and total bases. Since 1920, only four players have led MLB in all four categories: Lou Gehrig (1931), Mickey Mantle (1956), Babe Ruth (1921, 1923, 1926), Ted Williams (1942). Mantle and Williams took home the Triple Crown in those seasons.
Judge remains the odds-on favorite to win AL MVP this season, despite a recent push from Angels’ ace Shohei Otani.
Albert Pujols Home Runs Odds
But Judge isn’t the only player chasing home run history. St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols continues to push toward 700 career homers. The 42-year-old picked up his pace dramatically in the season’s second half, and now sees favorable odds to finish with at least 700 home runs before he retires.
The odds at DraftKings carry a 59.18 percent implied probability, while those at FanDuel carry a 61.83 percent implied probability.
With 20 regular season games remaining for the Cardinals, Pujols could become just the fourth player in MLB history to reach the 700-home-run plateau. He looks to join Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).