One should never bet on an NFL game without knowing the status of a starting quarterback who is dealing with an injury. The MLB version of a quarterback is generally a starting pitcher, but there are a few non-pitchers out who are quarterback-like in terms of their absence potentially affecting a line. No hitter is bigger in that regard than Yankees superstar and reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge, who is in question for Tuesday's series opener at Yankee Stadium vs. the White Sox. New York is -145 currently at Caesars Sportsbook. He is not in the starting lineup but it doesn't mean Judge can't pinch-hit if he doesn't land on the injured list. Also note that rain could be an issue.
One of the marquee regular-season games of the entire season was Sunday night's potential World Series preview between the Yankees and Dodgers in Los Angeles. Judge would never normally miss a game like that (especially as a California native) but sat out the 4-1 upset victory with a right big toe injury suffered making a great catch on Saturday night while running into a gate at Dodger Stadium.
Judge said after Sunday's game that not playing "was a little precautionary" and added that he's "a little sore." Manager Aaron Boone also wanted to advantage of Monday's off day and give Judge back-to-back days off his feet. Boone wouldn't rule out an IL stint for Judge, who already has had one this season and is guaranteed no matter what to finish with fewer games played than his career-high 157 last year en route to his record-setting campaign an AL MVP. We will find out later today if Judge is IL-bound.
This year in 49 games, Judge is batting .291 with 19 homers, 40 RBI and a 1.078 OPS – good for a WAR of 2.4 that is tied for 18th in the majors. He has five homers in his past six games, eight in his past 14 and 13 in his past 19. Those 13 are tied for the third-most by a Yankee in a 19-game span in a single season in franchise history, trailing only Alex Rodriguez (14 in 19 in 2007) and Babe Ruth (14 in 19 in 1930). New York is 14-1 this year when Judge homers. He has gone yard in each of the Yankees' last seven series.
To repeat as AL MVP, Judge is a +500 second favorite behind Shohei Ohtani (-140) with no one else below +1600. To lead the majors in homers again, Judge is a +300 second-favorite behind the Mets' Pete Alonso (+275), who leads with 21. Judge is 0-for-4 against Tuesday's White Sox starter Lucas Giolito.
Giolito (4-4, 4.08 ERA) has been hugely hit-or-miss this season and is 1-3 with a 5.68 ERA on the road. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 6.30 ERA in four career starts vs. New York. It honestly wouldn't surprise me if Giolito is traded to the Yankees around the trade deadline. If the Sox are out of the playoff hunt, he will be dealt and the Yankees have a need.
This normally would be the spot for 2022 All-Star Yankees lefty Nestor Cortes, but he's headed to the injured list. Clarke Schmidt (2-5, 5.01 ERA) will get the ball instead. Schmidt had a 6.84 ERA in April and a 3.52 marj in May. He's 1-4 with a 4.68 ERA at home.
The Yankees have won 16 of their past 25 at home against the White Sox since 2014. New York was -170 for tonight but dropped to -145 with no Judge.
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