Oddsmakers overwhelmingly favor Aaron Judge to top 2024 MLB home run chart

Aaron Judge, the captain of the New York Yankees, at Tampa spring training camp in January 2024.
Sara Molnick
Saturday February 17, 2024

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The oddsmakers have spoken, and they see Aaron Judge repeating his power-hitting dominance in 2024. The New York Yankees slugger stands as the overwhelming favorite to lead the Major Leagues in home runs, with FanDuel Sportsbook setting his odds at +380. This puts him firmly ahead of other potential long-ball kings like Matt Olson, who led the 2023 home run chart, and Pete Alonso.

Aaron Judge’s dominance is further underscored by his home run over/under the line, set at a staggering 43.5 by FanDuel. This exceeds the expectations for both Olson and Alonso, who are projected to hit 41.5 homers each. Notably, these three players are the only ones predicted to crack the 40-homer mark in the preseason.

Last season, Olson emerged as the home run king with 54 bombs, further fueling the anticipation around Aaron Judge’s potential feat. With his proven power and the revamped Yankees lineup potentially providing even more scoring opportunities, Vegas seems confident that Aaron Judge can reign supreme in the home run race once again.

Aaron Judge remains a prolific home run maestro

Aaron Judge, player of the New York Yankees
AP

Throughout his eight-year career, Aaron Judge has established himself as a fearsome power hitter, but one question consistently follows him: can he stay healthy enough to dominate the home run race?

His potential is undeniable. Aaron Judge holds the single-season American League record of 62 homers, achieved in his remarkable 2022 campaign. Even in his rookie year of 2017, his 52 bombs fell only to teammate Giancarlo Stanton‘s 59. These feats highlight his immense power, but injuries have unfortunately hampered his consistency.

Despite missing significant time in half of his full seasons, Aaron Judge still leads the league in home runs since 2017 with a whopping 253. However, fulfilling the expectations set by the Vegas oddsmakers hinges on one crucial factor: staying healthy. He’s only surpassed 120 games played in three of his six full seasons, excluding the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign and his brief rookie stint in 2016.

2024 MLB home run leader odds
PlayerOdds
Aaron Judge380
Matt Olson750
Pete Alonso850
Kyle Schwarber850
Shohei Ohtani1000
Yordan Alvarez1300
Juan Soto1700
Ronald Acuna Jr.1900
Austin Riley2300
Fernando Tatis Jr.2300
Odds provided by FanDuel

The injury threat

So, while Aaron Judge undoubtedly possesses the ability to reign supreme in the home run race, his injury history casts a shadow of doubt. If he can stay healthy and replicate his past offensive exploits, he could very well silence the doubters and rewrite the record books once again.

While injuries limited Aaron Judge to just 106 games in 2023, he still managed to mash 37 home runs, showcasing his prodigious power even at a reduced playing time. However, compared to his main home run title contenders, Matt Olson and Pete Alonso, Aaron Judge faces a hurdle: staying healthy.

Both Olson and Alonso boast impressive durability, playing at least 150 games in each of the last three seasons. This consistent presence on the field stands in stark contrast to Aaron Judge’s injury history, which has seen him surpass the 120-game mark in only three of his six full seasons (excluding the shortened 2020 season and his brief 2016 rookie stint).

Yankees Aaron Judge hits his second homer in the game against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Sept. 27, 2023.
Twitter-NYY

Aaron Judge’s talent is undeniable, but if he wants to reign supreme in the home run race, he’ll need to overcome his injury issues and stay on the field. If he can manage that, his power output could eclipse even the lofty expectations set by Vegas and silence any doubters.

Not only will Aaron Judge face familiar rivals like Olson and Alonso for the home run crown, but he might also have to keep an eye on a new teammate: Juan Soto. With odds of +1700 at FanDuel, Soto sits as the seventh-best favorite to lead the league in homers, adding another layer of intrigue to the competition.

His projected home run over/under of 35.5 might set a career-high for the four-time Silver Slugger. Notably, he achieved his previous best of 35 homers last season, even with half his at-bats coming in the notoriously pitcher-friendly Petco Park. Now, in the hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, with its inviting short porch in the right field, the opportunity to not only surpass his prior achievements but potentially crack the coveted 40-homer mark becomes even more enticing.

Soto’s presence alongside Aaron Judge adds another dimension to the already exciting home run race, making it a spectacle no baseball fan should miss.

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