Aaron Judge Opens At +600 to Lead American League in Home Runs

New York Yankee Aaron Judge set the bar incredibly high last season, breaking Roger Maris’s team and the American League record for home runs in a season with 62. Anybody who witnessed it recalls exactly where they were when No. 62 went over the wall in Arlington, Texas, in game No. 161 last season for the Yankees.

Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge connects on his 62nd home run.

Well, spring training has arrived, Judge has spoken, and odds have been posted at New York’s legalized sports gambling books. And Judge is listed at a generous +600 at Draft Kings to lead the American League in home runs after he finished with 16 more than anyone else last season.

Judge was voted the American League MVP after breaking Maris record, set in 1961. Judge’s 131 RBIs tied the New York Mets’ Pete Alonso for most in the majors, and Judge’s .311 batting average was second in the AL. After becoming a free agent, Judge agreed to a nine-year, $360 million contract to stay with the Yankees.

For New Yorkers willing to travel across state lines, Judge is +450 to win American League Most Valuable Player at BetRivers.com, and for those disinclined to make bets in neighboring states, FanDuel is offering a +400 line on the Mets or the Yankees to win the World Series. Which is nice, because both could be trade destinations for San Diego’s Manny Machado, who dropped a big piece of news last week, saying he plans to opt out of his 10-year, $300 million contract with San Diego and become a free agent.


Which New York Team Had a Better Off-Season?

You want to get New Yorkers talking about something other than bail reform, lingering COVID culture, and out-of-control subway crime? Just ask them this question.

Yes, New Yorkers are aligned either with the team from the Bronx in pinstripes, or the team in orange and blue from Queens. And while the Yankees kept Judge after he took a gamble on himself and earned that $360 million contract, Steve Cohen went out and signed three-time Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander from the defending champion Houston Astros. That gives the Mets arguably the top starting pitching staff in the majors, as Verlander joins Max Scherzer and Japanese import Kodai Senga.


The Yankees also re-signed 1B Anthony Rizzo. Their most notable outside move was signing SP Carlos Rodon in MLB Free Agency. They inked the All-Star left-handed pitcher to a six-year, $162 million contract this off-season as they try to end a championship drought that dates back to 2009.

Here are the odds on both New York teams winning the World Series at New York’s nine licensed sportsbooks:


  • DraftKings: +750.
  • FanDuel: +800.
  • BetMGM: +750.
  • BetRivers: +700.
  • PointsBet: +650.
  • Caesars: +750.
  • WynnBet: +700.
  • Resorts World: +650.
  • BallyBet: Unavailable.


  • DraftKings: +750.
  • FanDuel: +800.
  • BetMGM: +750.
  • BetRivers: +800.
  • PointsBet: +750.
  • Caesars: +800.
  • WynnBet: +800.
  • Resorts World: +750.
  • BallyBet: Unavailable.

The Mets are coming off a 101-win season, while the Yankees won 99. Given the amount of postseason success each would have to achieve, the line on Judge leading the AL in homers is especially enticing. The 30-year-old jumped from 39 to 62 homers last season, but in 2017 he hit 52 and won AL Rookie of the Year.


What Else Is Out There in Futures Markets?

Again, New Yorkers will have to cross state lines if they want to wager on Most Valuable Player or the Cy Young Award. That’s because the Empire States gambling laws do not allow those awards to be voted on. But New Yorkers are mobile, and whether they load up the EZ-Pass or opt for the PATH train to Hoboken or Jersey City, or I-95 to Connecticut, they will be able to vote on these awards when the odds are most enticing: During spring training.

At BetMGM, Judge is second behind Shohei Ohtani (+200) of the Los Angeles Angels for MVP, while Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is +1400 to win NL Most Valuable Player. For Cy Young, Yanks ace Gerrit Cole is the +600 cofavorite, along with Mets defector Jacob deGrom, who went to the Texas Rangers, while Verlander is the +600 third choice behind the Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara and Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes. BetRivers has Cole at +800 and Verlander at +550 for the two Cy Young Awards, and Judge at +450 and Alonso at +1400 in MVP futures markets.

At PointsBet, Alonso is +1500, which is the highest available, Mets fans.


At 40, Verlander is an interesting wager. Same with Judge at 30.

And if the possibility of getting Judge at +600 does not turn around the mood of a good number of New Yorkers on this particular rainy Tuesday, perhaps nothing will .. and y’all can join the exodus of folks who have relocated to Texas or Florida or Tennessee. The official number is 65,000. But anyone who has spent time in Manhattan and has seen how it still resembles a ghost town would guess that the real number is higher.

But no matter where those Mets and/or Yankees fans are located, there is no escaping the fact that these lines are going to shift lower within two weeks of Opening Day. That’s if this season resembles last season, aside from the enlarged bases and pitch clock countdown. If you like Judge or Verlander or Alonso or Cole, there is no arguing with the fact that the time to wager is now.

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