MLB Betting: Will Shohei Ohtani Surpass Aaron Judge's AL Homer Record?

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr

Can home run history be made for a second straight year?

Shohei Ohtani has been on a tear in the first half of the season and is in the conversation to make some more history as he chases Aaron Judge's American League home run record.

It's a record that Judge barely broke just one season ago, so it's crazy to think it could happen in consecutive years -- right?

Let's dive into Ohtani's chances to break Judge's record, and we'll use the odds from the MLB player specials market at FanDuel Sportsbook as a reference.

Shohei Ohtani's Odds to Surpass Aaron Judge's AL Record

Over 62.5 Home Runs in the 2023 Season

  • Yes: +3500
  • No: -5000

Will Ohtani Break the American League HR Record?

It took 61 years for Roger Maris' American League home run record to be broken after Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run on October 4, 2022. Sixty-one years! Did we think we'd be having this same conversation less than a year later? Certainly not.

But after a June that saw Shohei Ohtani hit 15 home runs, Ohtani may wind up having a chance to surpass Judge's record.

Through 89 games this season, Ohtani currently sits at 32 long balls, which is one fewer than Judge had at this time last season. It's worth noting that Maris sat at 35 home runs through the same amount of games.

Now, what Ohtani is doing as a two-way player is already historic. That being said, the odds are clearly not in his favor. Sitting at -5000 to fall short of the record, Ohtani is an extreme long-shot to hit 63 jacks. Ohtani's work on the mound is likely viewed as a negative for him by oddsmakers as it adds potential injury risk.

Ohtani would need to hit 31 home runs in the second half, something that has happened only 13 times in baseball history. The most recent were Giancarlo Stanton (33) and J.D. Martinez (31), both of whom did it in 2017. It's not impossible, especially seeing as Ohtani could be in the same situation that Martinez was then -- when Martinez was traded mid-season from the Detroit Tigers to the Arizona Diamondbacks and proceeded to blast 29 taters in his time with Arizona.

One of the major stories in baseball in the second half will be Ohtani's potential movement as the Los Angeles Angels have a decision to make due to Ohtani heading to free agency at the season's end. If Ohtani is traded, that can alter his chances of making history. If he's moved to a team in contention, it could ignite him.

Looking ahead, Ohtani would have to go on another tear at the plate to sniff the record, let alone break it. Both ZiPS and Steamer have Ohtani projected to hit 18 home runs the rest of the season, a total that would leave him at 50 home runs for the year -- well short of the record.

Ohtani is an incredible player, one unique to the modern game. He's made history countless times and will surely do it more moving forward, but given how many homers Ohtani needs to hit to get to 63 in addition to his workload on the mound, it's probably better to assume that a once 61-year-old record isn't broken in consecutive seasons.

The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.