Betting on the Triple Crown: Here's Who to Watch

Halfway through the MLB season we have 2 potential candidates for the coveted Triple Crown.
Betting on the Triple Crown: Here's Who to Watch

We’re just days away from the All-Star game, and the race for the Triple Crown is heating up. Two standout players, Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees and Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Dodgers, are the leading contenders and it’s not even close. These powerhouses are dominating their respective leagues. In fact, we may end up seeing a World Series between the Yankees and the Dodgers, but that’s a topic for another day.

With impressive stats and compelling odds, both Judge and Ohtani offer some interesting considerations for those looking to place a bet on this prestigious title.

Aaron Judge's Standout Season

Aaron Judge is having a remarkable season with the New York Yankees. Through his 89 games, Judge has crushed it at the plate with a .308 batting average, 32 home runs, and 83 RBIs. His offensive dominance is further highlighted by his .430 on-base percentage (OBP) and a slugging percentage of .688, leading to an impressive OPS of 1.118. Of course, those latter stats don’t factor into the coveted batting title, but they just drive home the fact that Judge is one of the best.

Judge's ability to consistently get on base and hit for power makes him one of the biggest contenders for the Triple Crown. His home run and RBI totals are the best in the league. The closest player behind him for HRs in the AL is Gunnar Henderson and he only has 27 and for RBIs it’s Jose Ramirez with 85. It’s like he’s running away with it. 

The odds reflect Judge's strong season. With odds of +750 to win the Triple Crown, he's seen as a solid bet. On the other hand, the odds of -1400 for him not to win it show that it’s still a fight for the crown.

If you’re looking to bet on anyone for the Triple Crown in 2024, no doubt it would be Aaron Judge. You could haul in a solid return with a bet on him this early in the season.

Shohei Ohtani's is Crushing the NL

Shohei Ohtani is a unique talent in MLB, excelling as both a pitcher and a hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, due to his second Tommy John surgery, Ohtani is taking a season off of pitching. Despite this, his bat has been nothing less than smoking hot. Ohtani has also played 86 games with a .314 batting average, just edging out Judge in this crucial metric. Ohtani has hit 28 home runs and driven in 65 RBIs, showcasing his power, albeit slightly less than Judge. 

Ohtani's OBP stands at .394, with a slugging percentage of .626, resulting in an OPS of 1.020. Overall, that’s not a bad slant. While these numbers are slightly lower than Judge's, they are still outstanding and are leaders of the National League in a few areas. He has the top slot with HRs, with only Marcell Ozuna right behind him with 23, but he’s still 3rd when it comes to RBIs. That’s not to say it’s not out of reach. What sets Ohtani apart, and this doesn’t necessarily lend itself to the Triple Crown race, is his speed. With 17 stolen bases, Ohtani is a constant threat on the basepaths. He’s always adding pressure to opposing defenses and creating scoring opportunities beyond his power-hitting. He’s easily one of the greatest players to watch.

Ohtani's odds of +900 to win the Triple Crown show that while he is a strong contender, bookmakers see the title as slightly less likely compared to Judge. There’s still plenty of baseball remaining, and anything can happen. These odds are constantly changing.

Head-to-Head Comparison

When it comes to the Triple Crown, comparing these two isn’t necessarily required. That’s because the award is given to each league. Given that Judge plays in the American League and Ohtani in the National League, in theory, both can win the Triple Crown. However, it’s still fun to see how these two match up.

Comparing Judge and Ohtani brings up several key metrics that stand out. Both players boast an insane batting average with a .312 and .314 respectively, demonstrating their elite hitting skills and consistency. Judge has a clear advantage in power, with more home runs and RBIs, while also leading in OBP and slugging percentage, making him slightly more productive overall with a higher OPS.

On the other hand, Ohtani's significant edge in stolen bases underscores his versatility. His ability to contribute both at the plate and on the basepaths makes him a dynamic player.

Betting Considerations for the Triple Crown

While it’s looking good for both Judge and Ohtani, there are a few big considerations you should look at. After all, the Triple Crown is one of the toughest titles to win in the MLB so it goes to show that it’s not an easy feat. There are always hurdles.

  1. Injury potential. Both players have a history of injuries. Judge has missed time in previous seasons due to various strains and fractures, and Ohtani has dealt with injuries related to both pitching and hitting. An injury to either player will undoubtedly crush their Triple Crown dreams.

  2. Team performance. The success of the Yankees and Dodgers has the potential to influence how these guys perform. A strong supporting cast can lead to more opportunities for RBIs and runs scored, while a struggling team might limit these chances. How the Yankees and Dodgers are performing, we don’t see this being an issue.

  3. Historical context. The Triple Crown is one of the most challenging feats in baseball, with only a few players achieving it in the modern era. The last player to win the Triple Crown was Miguel Cabrera in 2012. Before that, it was Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Understanding the rarity of this achievement can help you set some realistic expectations for betting.

  4. Other players. Don’t forget that other players get a vote with their bat. To win the title, the player has to be the leader in all 3 categories and when players like Steven Kwan have a .364 batting average, that’s tough to beat.

While it’s not impossible for either of these players to win the Triple Crown, it’s definitely an uphill battle. There’s a reason the odds are in favor of them not winning it, but if they were to win it, you can bet it’ll be a nice payday.

Betting on the Triple Crown Winner

Betting on the Triple Crown involves weighing numerous factors, from player statistics and health to team dynamics and historical context.

Halfway into the season, there are no other players even close for the title. That’s not to say someone can’t surprise us, but it’s unlikely.  Sure, guys like Henderson, Ozuna, and Ramirez are solid and definitely put up the numbers, but they tend to fall short in at least one of the stat categories. Judge and Ohtani, however, are leading or close to leading all three.

Aaron Judge, with his powerful hitting and high on-base skills, presents probably the most realistic case with odds of +750. Shohei Ohtani, with his versatility and speed, is another top contender at +900, offering a different kind of value to bettors.

It’s tough to say at this point who could win out, but we would take Ohtani over Judge only on the fact that he has to beat out the NL. Of course, Judge is having a slightly better season than Ohtani, but he also has to contend with a better pool of players.

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