Yankees vs Pirates: Betting on Aaron Judge’s 61st and 62nd Home Runs


Posted on: September 21, 2022, 03:57h. 

Last updated on: September 21, 2022, 07:58h.

Yankee Aaron Judge is just one home run shy of Roger Maris’ 61. Here’s how to wager on his record-breaking 61 and 62nd homers.

Aaron Judge (99) is close to breaking the home run record. The question just remains ‘when.’ (Image: AP)

The Yankees are at home tonight against the hapless Pittsburgh Pirates, who are starting right-hander Roansy Contreras, a former Yankees prospect who was dealt away two Januarys ago.

Contreras, a 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic, has allowed 10 home runs in 18 appearances this season covering 83 1/3 innings, none in his last four outings. He has never pitched to Judge, who homered in the ninth inning last night to start a five-run comeback that gave the Yankees a 9-8 victory.

Judge has remained in the leadoff position for manager Aaron Boone throughout September, so he is expected to have five at-bats tonight to tie and/or break Maris’ AL record.

Judge may become the first player to win the Triple Crown since Miguel Cabrera of Detroit in 2012. It has happened only 18 times. Judge has hit 39% of his career Yankee Stadium home runs to left field and 39 percent to right field, and 22% to center field.

Judge’s MVP odds are down to -20000, although someone in Anaheim will vote for Shohei Ohtani to prevent it from being unanimous. Baseball writers are provincial like that.

If you need a minute to think about what to do wager-wise, spend that minute watching this:

How to Bet

The line at Fan Duel on Judge homering twice is +1700. A $10 parlay of Judge homering twice and having at least four hits pays $1442.08 at Fan Duel. That same wager is not available at DraftKings, which has Judge +160 to go over 0.5 HRs for the game (with a 61% profit boost opt-in offer, max $25 bet, making it +257).

Bet MGM has Judge at +170, and BetRivers has Judge homering at +195. Caesars has a +950 prop special for both Judge and Rizzo to homer. PointsBet has Judge at +225 to hit one home run (boosted from +170) and +1500 to homer at last twice.

BetMGM offers two bets nobody else has: Judge at -5000 to finish below 61 1/2 home runs and -115 to win the Triple Crown.

Stats and Averages

Contreras has not allowed multiple home runs since July 6, with seven straight starts. But he has not pitched past the 7th inning even once all season. The Pirates usually have him out there for four or five innings, so he is only a small piece of the puzzle.

In his last start, he was lifted after allowing just three hits in four innings and was replaced by Tyler Beede, who has allowed seven homers in 61 1/2 innings over 31 appearances with San Francisco and Pittsburgh. He has not pitched in one week and is due for an appearance. Beade was relieved by Miguel Yajure last Wednesday against the Reds, and Yajure also has not pitched in exactly one week. He has surrendered just two homers in eight appearances covering 20 2/3 innings.

Judge, leading the American League with a .316 batting average, was the only Yankees starter last night with a batting average higher than .265. Yet, the Yanks had nine hits and overcame an 8-4 deficit that sent many fans to the exits after the eighth inning. And, yes, those particular fans were getting killed on New York sports talk radio this morning.

Because Judge bats leadoff and is having a torrid September (28-for-59, for a .475 batting average), two bets worth considering are for him to have at least three hits (+1000) or at least four hits (+5500). If you want to use recent history as a gauge for those two wagers, Judge has had four 4-for-5 games this season, one of which came Sunday against the Brewers, and nine three-hit games, one of which came against the Pirates in an 18-0 rout on July 6.

Back to The Real Prize

At some point, a sportsbook will determine what the person who catches home run No. 62 will do with it. There is a lot of chatter in New York that Judge’s number should eventually stand as the Major League record because of the steroid scandalized soap opera surrounding Mark McGuire hitting 70 home runs in 1998 and Barry Bonds hitting 73 in 2001.

Sammy Sosa hit at least 63 three different times. All of those players were beloved in their home markets at the time, and Sosa even attended the State of the Union address and was a favorite of Bill and Hillary Clinton before the whole corked bat thing happened.

Judge is different from all of them.

He refuses to discuss personal accomplishments, is understated to the point of being borderline boring, and is extraordinarily prodigious. If he had Babe Ruth’s personality, they would name a candy bar after him, too.

Here’s hoping that if he does not homer tonight, the nine sportsbooks operating in New York get more creative with their wagering offers. This type of event turns non-bettors into bettors, and the lack of creativity from most books is surprising, if not inexcusable.

But then again, this industry is still in its infancy. And at a certain point, someone will have the guts to offer a line on how much home run ball No. 62 will sell for — assuming it lands in the stands and not one of the bullpens. Let’s not forget relief pitcher Tom House caught Hank Aaron’s 715th homer, and it now resides on display at the Braves’ ballpark in Atlanta.

Perhaps we can all agree on this: Whoever gambled on the ticket price of the perfect seat and catches HR No. 62 will cut a fair deal that makes everyone happy. That would be an inspiration to us all.



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