Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees is playing for a huge raise next season, and he’s certainly helping his cause by leading the majors with 30 home runs after smacking a grand slam on Wednesday night.

Aaron Judge Grand Slam Yankees 30 Home Runs HR Run All-Star Break MLB leader
NY Yankees slugger Aaron Judge connects on his 30th home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in PNC Park. (Image: Gene J Puskar/AP)

Judge homered in a 16-0 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates and now has 30 home runs and 64 RBI while slashing at .287/.366/.627.

The Yankees boast the best record in MLB at 59-23 thanks to a combination of excellent starting pitching and slugging from the power hitters. The Yankees lead the league with 139 home runs, including 30 from Judge.

Anthony Rizzo has smacked 22 dingers, Giancarlo Stanton connected on 21 home runs, Gleyber Torres has 13 homers, and Joey Gallo added eight. Matt Carpenter played just 22 games with the Yankees since joining the team and he already has eight long balls, and is tied for sixth on the team with DJ LeMahieu.

The Yankees and LA Dodgers are co-favorites to win the 2022 World Series, according to the most recent update from DraftKings. Judge is the betting favorite at -130 odds to win the AL MVP ahead of two-way stud Shohei Ohtani from the LA Angels.

Judge slams 30 HRs

The Yankees exploded for 16 runs against the Pirates on Wednesday night. Judge led the way with three hits and four RBI thanks to a grand slam in the eighth inning. The score was 5-0 before Judge put the game out of reach with a 420-foot blast to left field.

In the preseason, Judge declined a contract extension worth $30.5 million over seven years. Judge and his agent say they won’t discuss another deal with the Yankees until after the season ends. For now, Judge’s focus is on winning the pennant and another championship for the Yankees. Judge has yet to win a title since joining the Yankees, and he’s hungry for his first taste of the victory champagne.

“In no way, shape or form can this be a distraction,” said owner Hal Steinbrenner. “The sole focus is winning a championship. That’s all anyone needs to worry about right now. So we’ll see where we end up.”

There’s been speculation that Judge will jump ship and play for the highest bidder, even though he’s said he wants to remain in the Bronx for the duration of his career.

When Judge is healthy, he’s proven to be one of the most dangerous home run threats in the big leagues. For the second time in his career, Judge hit 30 home runs before the All-Star break. He became the first player to achieve that feat since Barry Bonds.

“Aaron is a great Yankee, and he’s very valuable in this organization,” added Steinbrenner. “He’s a great leader. Obviously, he’s performing extremely well this year. Yes, it’s going to be something we’re going to be looking at and talking about seriously.”