It’s rare that the Mets and Yankees are both competitive teams at the same time. Perhaps it’s even rarer for both New York teams to have a slugger in the race for the home run crown.
That’s what we have heading into the 2023 season with Pete Alonso and Aaron Judge.
Alonso had a career-high 53 home runs in his rookie campaign and followed that up with 37 in 2021 and 40 last season. Judge broke the AL Home Run Record last year with 62 after hitting 39 homers the year prior.
Former WFAN producer and Yankees fan Ernie Acosta joined Mets fan Evan Roberts on the Audacy Original Podcast “Rico Brogna” and debated if Alonso or Judge will hit more home runs in 2023.
“The one that I think I would accept right off the top, and it’s easy and it’s straightforward and I would be the underdog in it but I actually feel comfortable straight up doing Pete Alonso vs. Aaron Judge home run bet,” Roberts said (3:27 in player above). “I think the reason I feel good about it is that Alonso – and I knock on wood when I say this – has shown an ability to stay healthy.
Alonso has been a constant in the Mets’ lineup since making his debut in 2019. He played in 161 games that year, 57 of 60 games in 2020, 152 in 2021, and 160 last season. The Polar Bear is a powerful bat for the Mets.
Judge, on the other hand, missed most of the 2020 season and a decent chunk in both 2018 and 2019. However, he played in 157 games last year and 148 in 2021.
“While I wouldn’t tell you (Alonso’s) going to hit 60 home runs or even 50 home runs, I feel really good that I’m not going to get a year in which he only hits 15 ‘cause he misses a big chunk of the year,” Roberts continued. “While Aaron Judge, as great as he was last year I take nothing away from it, has had a history of missing a lot of time. So even though your reward is higher because Judge just came off a year in which he hit over 60, I actually feel pretty good making that bet.”
Acosta mostly agreed with Roberts’ assessment.
“I think it’s a toss-up bet. I mean both of these guys are capable of hitting 50 home runs, obviously,’ he said. “One way or another I came into this assuming we were going to do some sort of Alonso vs. Judge bet; home runs make sense. Obviously, Judge had a historic year last year so he’s going to have a big drop-off from that, but would I be surprised if Alonso hit 55, 56, 57 home runs this year? I would not.”
It’s certainly an interesting bet. Judge has hit 220 home runs in 729 games in his career – a 162-game average of 49 – while Alonso is right there at 45 homers per 162 games (146 in 530 career games).
Obviously, Judge would’ve won the bet last year as he led the league with 62 home runs, and the Yankees slugger bested Alonso by two homers (39 to 37) in 2021. However, Alonso’s 53 homers in 2019 and 16 in the shortened 2020 season would’ve brought it home for the Polar Bear.
It’s going to be fun two watch these two big boppers in the Big Apple for years to come.
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