It was a season to remember for Aaron Judge and his home runs. It’s time to continue our MLB odds series with a special Over/Under on Aaron Judge’s regular season home runs prediction and pick.
Aaron Judge broke the AL record for home runs in a season with 62 last year. From his first home run on April 13th against the Toronto Blue Jays, at home, to number 62 in Texas on October 4th, watching Aaron Judge was nothing short of magical. His power and launch of the ball are something to behold. Asking Judge to repeat a 62 homerun season seems insane. Only two guys have ever hit more than 60 home runs twice, and both are mired in steroid controversy. Judge is one of the best in the league at hitting the long ball, but can he repeat his performance?
Here are the Aaron Judge Regular Season Home Run total odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Aaron Judge Regular Season Home Run total odds
Over: 42.5 (-120)
Under: 42.5 (-106)
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Why Judge Will Go Over the Regular Season Home Run Total
Ten different players have hit 60 or more home runs in a season, and Judge is one of them. Only four of the nine have failed to hit 50 home runs the next season. Barry Bonds in 2002 hit 46 in ten fewer games than the year before. He also walked 198 times. Mark McGwire in 2000 only hit 32, but he only played in 89 games. Sammy Sosa in 2002 hit 49 home runs. Then there is Roger Maris, who only had 33 home runs after his 61-home run season. Their track record suggests, unless missing games, Judge will get over 42.5 home runs.
Lineup also helps Aaron Judge. He could potentially bat second, but even if he is third, some combination of Rizzo, Stanton, or Torres will be right behind him, and most likely two of them. This means Judge has protection. Walking him is not the best option, especially as pitchers go down the line up to Donaldson or Hicks. The Yankees can hit, so Judge may see some protection.
Yankee stadium helps as well. The short right porch is huge for Judge. He gets to play 81 games at home this year, and he has 30 home runs at Yankee Stadium last year. Even if he drops that 25%, that puts him at 22.5 home runs at home this year. That will leave him needing just 20 home runs on the road to get to the number. The schedule is a help for him.
The league balanced the schedule even more for the 2023 campaign, meaning Judge gets to face more National League pitching. In his most recent 20 games against NL opponents, Judge has ten home runs. He also gets a trip to Coors Field, the most hitter-friendly ballpark in the majors, right after the All-Star break. If Judge takes it easy over the break, he can probably launch a few bombs there.
Aaron Judge has everything necessary to get to 43 home runs, and if all goes to plan, the over-regular season home run total for Judge should be the pick.
Why Judge Will Go Under the Regular Season Home Run Total
Injury should be the biggest concern for Judge. Since his first full season in 2017, in which he hit 52 home runs, he has missed significant time in three of the five seasons. In 2021, he played a majority of the season, but missing 14 games, he only hit 39 home runs. Last year, he played a career-high 157 games. This makes it only half of his seasons has he played a majority of games, meaning, injury concern is real. Judge must stay healthy to get to this mark.
Health around him will also be a factor. Based on his average amount of at-bats in a season, and projecting out 150 games, then bringing in his career average for at-bats per homerun, it places his number this year right at 45 home runs. As seen with Barry Bonds though, at bats can take a hit after hitting a lot of home runs. If the lineup around Judge struggles or gets hurt, then he will see more walks. If he walks just one more time every three games, his projected total based on his carer drops to 42 home runs, below the mark.
There is also the chance Judge just had a special year that will not be replicated. In 20 fewer at-bats in 2021, he hit 24 fewer home runs. This does seem like a stretch though, as in 2017, he had 28 fewer at-bats, only still hitting 52 home runs. Overall, for the over regular season home run total is not to be the pick, injury or others’ lack of performance is the main concern.
FinalAaron Judge Regular Season Home Run Total Prediction and Pick
A Judge home run total prediction is difficult. Predicting injury is next to impossible. It could happen on literally any play. One wrong step and a season is over. Judge is a premier home run slugger though and he can hit them in bunches. The ball base percentage is concerning. If that ticks up, hitting 43 home runs may be difficult, but even with that, he should be close. The lineup is solid and should protect him. He plays at Yankee Stadium which is a help. He gets a schedule that benefits him. Judge hits the over, but not without concern.
Final Aaron Judge Regular Season Home Run Total Prediction: 46 home runs
Final Aaron Judge Regular Season Home Run Total Pick: Over (-120)
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