Aaron Judge vs. History: Will He Break Maris’s AL Home Run Record?

Eddie Griffin

With two months remaining in the 2022 MLB regular season, it is not a foregone conclusion that New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge will be this year’s home run leader.

But with his league-leading 42 homers putting him nine ahead of Philadelphia’s Kyle Schwarber and a dozen ahead of Houston’s Yordan Alvarez as the calendar flips to August, it will take a lot for him to be hauled down at the top of the home run charts.

But Judge has much more than the home run crown in his crosshairs. In addition to being an overwhelming favorite to lead the league in longballs, he is separating himself from reigning winner Shohei Ohtani as the favorite to be named AL MVP.

And thanks to a tear that has seen him clobber nine homers and drive in 21 runs in ten games after the All-Star break, Judge has a six-decades old franchise and American League record in his reach.

Here’s a look at the current odds on how many homers he will hit in 2022, courtesy of FanDuel.

How Many Home Runs Will Aaron Judge Hit This Year?

Odds are as of Monday, August 1, 2022. Total is for the 2022 MLB regular season only.

  • Over 61.5 (+146)
  • Under 61.5 (-180)

Judge on Pace to Shatter Maris’s Longstanding Franchise and AL Single-Season Records

In 1927, Yankees legend Babe Ruth became the first player to hit 60 home runs in an MLB season, when he hit exactly 60 homers and drove in 165 runs in 154 games.

That stood as an MLB record until 1961, when Yankees right fielder Roger Maris belted 61 homers.

That season was the first in which teams played 162 games, and Maris hit his 61 homers in 161 games. Maris had 59 homers after 154 games, tied Ruth’s record in his 158th game, and broke it in the final game of the regular season.

To this day, Maris remains the last Yankee and last American League player to reach the 60-homer mark. Of course, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds all surpassed that mark between 1998 and 2001, with Bonds hitting a record 73 homers in 2001.

But Alex Rodriguez has come the closest of any Yankee and American Leaguer since Maris. In 2002, he hit 57 homers with the Texas Rangers, and he hit 54 five years with the Yankees, winning two of his three MLB home run titles in those seasons.

How Many Home Runs Is Aaron Judge on Pace to Hit This Year?

Entering Monday night’s matchup with the Seattle Mariners, Judge has 42 homers in 100 games. If he doesn’t miss a game for the remainder of the regular season, that puts him on pace for 67 homers.

If Judge were to reach that total, he would slot into third in MLB’s single-season home run charts.

MLB Single-Season Home Run Leaders

  • 1. Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants – 73 (2001)
  • 2. Mark McGwire, St. Louis Cardinals – 70 (1998)
  • 3. Sammy Sosa, Chicago Cubs – 66 (1998)
  • 4. Mark McGwire, St. Louis Cardinals – 65 (1999)
  • 5. Sammy Sosa, Chicago Cubs – 64 (2001)
  • 6. Sammy Sosa, Chicago Cubs – 63 (1999)
  • 7. Roger Maris, New York Yankees – 61 (1961)
  • 8. Babe Ruth, New York Yankees – 60 (1927)
  • t9. Babe Ruth, New York Yankees – 59 (1921)
  • t9. Giancarlo Stanton, Florida Marlins – 59 (2017)

Jimmie Foxx (with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1932), Hank Greenberg (with the Detroit Tigers in 1938), Ryan Howard (with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2006), and McGwire (34 with the Oakland Athletics and 24 with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1997) are all next up with 58.

A-Rod and Luis Gonzalez (with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001) each hit 57, and the other three members of the 55-homer club are Ken Griffey Jr., who hit 56 in 1997 and 1998 with the Seattle Mariners, and Chicago Cubs star Hack Wilson, who hit 56 homers–and drove in 191 runs, an MLB record that stands to this day–in 1930.

To look at the season Judge is having and the pace he is on in the proper context, even reaching 55 homers would doing something that only 13 other players in MLB history have done.

How many 50-homer seasons have been there in MLB history? That would be 46. To date, there are 30 players in that club, including Judge, who hit 52 in 2017.

So, even if he doesn’t break Maris’s records, become the first player to reach 60 home runs in over two decades, or make a sensational push to join Bonds and McGwire as the only players to hit 70 homers in a single season, he will still have had an incredible season.

Eddie Griffin
Eddie Griffin

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.