The Race To Maris: Is It 62 Or Bust For Aaron Judge?

The Race To Maris: Is It 62 Or Bust For Aaron Judge?
Image ©Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Frank Weber
Author:
Frank Weber
Updated: 
August 31st 2022 - 07:34 PM

Aaron Judge is well on his way to one of the best offensive seasons in recent history. He currently leads the league in home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage and OPS, and he’s practically a shoo-in to win AL MVP (sitting at -1000 odds according to DraftKings Sportsbook). The man with his own section at Yankee Stadium is finally living up to his name, and soon he may find that name in more places than just the front of the “Judge’s Chambers.” You see, Aaron Judge is well on his way to doing something that hasn’t been done since 1961–well, without the help of steroids at least. 

At the time of this story, Aaron Judge is only 10 home runs away from tying Roger Maris’ all-time Yankee single-season home run record. This was the MLB record until 2001, which is when Barry Bonds and all his juice hit 73 home runs. Since Maris’ 61 in ‘61, only three different players have hit 61 or more home runs:

-Barry Bonds (2001)

-Sammy Sosa (1998, 1999, 2001)

-Mark McGwire (1998, 1999)

Judge is already tied for the 15th most home runs in a season of all time, and he still has a full month of baseball ahead of him. While Bonds’ record is way out of the realm of possibility, Maris’ seems very doable. This home run race couldn’t come at a better time for Judge either, who will seemingly enter free agency at the end of this season. So, how many does Judge have to hit in order to etch his name in the history books? Is merely tying Maris enough? Or, does he have to break the record? Let’s take a look.

62 or Bust For Judge

If Judge wants to guarantee his Yankee legacy, he needs to break Maris’ record. If Judge can blast 62 home runs, win the AL MVP, and bring the Yankees to the World Series, then there’s no doubt in my mind they would toss him the fattest contract you could imagine in the offseason. And if the Yankees don’t, then you best believe someone else will.

Listen, hitting over 60 home runs is a feat to be proud of–only two players have done it without steroids (Ruth and Maris). However, the difference between 60 and 61 is huge–and the difference between 60 and 62 is massive. 

I’ve always been one of Judge's harshest critics, but that’s mostly because I look at the players on my team with a “what have you done for me recently” attitude. And recently, Judge has done a couple of things:

-Get Hurt

-Strike Out

-Get Hurt Again

Now, if he can sneak in breaking the Yankee all-time home run record into that list? Then maybe I’ll let him slide a few more seasons (if he decides to stay in NY). But if he only hits say 60, AND the Yankees fall short in the postseason? Then it’s back on the hitlist for Judge.

With 32 games left, Judge just needs 11 more Home Runs to satisfy me and break the record. Think he’ll do it? If so, head on over to DraftKings Sportsbook, who are currently offering Judge to break Maris’ record (over 61.5) at +240 odds.

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