I can't ever remember a time this early in the season when an individual was favored over the rest of Major League Baseball to win the home run title, but that is now the case at Caesars Sportsbook as the Yankees' Aaron Judge has taken a slight lead at -120 against the field (any other player) at -110. Judge and the Bombers open a potential playoff preview series tonight at home vs. Houston.
The Yankees gave Judge a rare night off Tuesday at Tampa Bay, and the offense was largely impotent in a loss (Judge pinch-hit with two outs in the ninth and nearly homered). He was back in there Wednesday and hit two homers to lead a 5-4 victory.
Judge has 27 homers, six clear of the Angels' Mike Trout and Astros' Yordan Alvarez. Wednesday was Judge's sixth multi-homer game already this year (most in the majors), joining Babe Ruth in 1928 as the only Yankees with six such games within the team's first 70 games of a season. Ruth finished with 54 dingers that season. Judge has 22 multi-homer games as a Yankee, trailing Ruth (68), Mickey Mantle (46), Lou Gehrig (43), Joe DiMaggio (35) and Alex Rodriguez (29).
Oddly, it marked the third straight time that Judge has homered twice in his first game after a day off. I'm going to try to remember that statistic if the Yankees actually give Judge another game off.
I've yet to see odds that Judge will reach 60 homers, but I'm sure they are coming soon. No would certainly be a sizable favorite. Roger Maris holds the franchise/AL record with 61 in 1961. Judge leads MLB with a home run every 9.4 at-bats. At that pace, he would need about 583 at-bats to reach 62. Judge's career high in at-bats is 550 in 2021, when he hit 39 homers.
On the individual prop to lead the majors in homers, Judge is also -120 with Trout at +625 and Alvarez +700. Houston starts lefty Framber Valdez tonight, and Judge is 0-for-2 with a walk and strikeout against him. Alvarez is actually the +250 favorite at Caesars to go yard in the game with Judge at +340.
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