Aaron Judge’s chase of Roger Maris’ team and American League home run record of 61 is garnering the attention of viewers this year–and bettors as well.
Yankees telecasts on the YES Network are up 11% from a season ago, and expect big ratings this week with nationally televised contests between New York and Boston (last night on FOX; Sunday night on ESPN), plus the MLB Network will be taking each one of Judge’s at-bats live. That’s good news for non-streamers, as Friday’s game is exclusively on the Apple+ service.
For much of the season, the Yankees were chasing the all-time wins record before a second-half fade; now, most of the attention is on whether Judge will break the record (likely) and win the AL triple crown by leading the league in batting average, home runs, and RBI (more of a toss-up because Judge enters Friday just .002 ahead of Xander Boegarts in batting average).
Nightly and Season-Long Home Run Props Popular With Judge
The season-long race over whether Judge will reach a new AL record of 62 home runs is just about over. DraftKings opened a bet in August at +105 on whether Judge would break the record. That number became more of a longshot by the end of the month after Judge slowed down and hit No. 50 on Aug. 30. The odds at that point for over 61.5 were +250, but the bet has since been taken off the board with Judge just two shy of the record with 11 games to play.
On Thursday, despite odds of about 2:1, 70% of bettors on BetMGM had Judge tying the record that night against Boston (but 57% of the handle was on a shutout in the home run department, so it was a net loss for that book). FanDuel and BetRivers were more bullish on Judge, as over 85% of the money at both books were on Judge going deep Thursday.
It all led to some delicious drama, whether you were betting on Judge making history or just for the Yankees to win, as the presumed AL MVP took a mighty swing in the ninth inning of a tie game on Thursday.
Judge’s moonshot to centerfield certainly got everyone’s heart rate up (and thanks to some tricky camerawork as well), but the facts show that he hit it to the one part of Yankee Stadium that plays deeper than many other ballparks.
What Are Judge’s Odds to at Least Tie the Record Friday?
DraftKings has put plenty of emphasis on under 0.5 for Judge home runs tonight, as you can grab the under at -270, which is double the odds of the next closest competitor to not hit a home run (Josh Donaldson at -525 for u0.5). The odds to at least tie Maris stand at +200.