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Aaron Judge Now Biggest Liability For Sportsbooks in AL MVP Market With Slugger On Pace for 66 Home Runs

Aaron Judge Now Biggest Liability For Sportsbooks in AL MVP Market With Slugger On Pace for 66 Home Runs article feature image
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Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Judge (Yankees)

It was another massive weekend for Aaron Judge, and he’s now in prime position to take home the American League MVP award with two months to play in the Major League Baseball season.

Considering the fact that Judge is the most prominent player on arguably the most popular team in the sport, it should come as no surprise that the public has heavily bet on Judge to win the MVP.

Judge is the biggest liability for sportsbooks in this market as he comes into the home stretch of play.

He opened at +2000 at BetMGM prior to the season. Judge is now -400, and in the time it’s taken for him to reach that point, Judge has amassed 16.0% of the betting tickets and 19.3% of the handle.

In fact, at Caesars, the book received 17 bets over the past week of $1,000 or more for Judge to win the AL MVP, a representative told the Action Network. Compare that to the one bet over $1,000 for Judge’s second-best competitor Shohei Ohtani.

“I do think it’s a little bit of an overreaction to this short sample of Judge’s hot streak,” said Eric Biggio, the head baseball trader at Caesars. “At the same token, we can’t discount it since he’s now on pace to break [Roger] Maris’ team record.”

Roger Maris jacked 61 homers in 1961 for what is still an American League record. The three other players that have hit more dingers in a single season — Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa — were heavily linked with performance-enhancing drugs.

Judge is on pace for 66 home runs as of Monday morning, which would tie the third-best record for homers in a season.

And Caesars is capitalizing on this hysteria. The sportsbook has odds on whether Judge will surpass the Yankees and American League’s home run record this year.

Those odds had opened at under 61.5 homers (-450) and over 61.5 homers (+340). The odds ballooned to -700 for the under and +475 earlier this month.

But this past weekend, after Judge knocked four homers and robbed one defensively, those odds were as low as -160 for u61.5 and +130 for o61.5.

The soon-to-be free agent has nine more homers than his next-best competitor, Kyle Schwarber, who has 33.

Meanwhile, Ohtani has seen his odds dissipate for the AL MVP Award despite having the highest ticket and handle percentages at BetMGM. He’s now hovering at around +350 across major American sportsbooks — he had been as short as -110 as recently as last week.

But traders at Caesars think this race isn’t over.

“I could see another big shift in Ohtani’s direction if he continues his pitching dominance and Judge falters a bit,” Biggio said.

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