Aaron Boone and Gerrit Cole
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The New York Yankees are favorites to win the American League this season, but bettors aren’t shy about going all-in on the pinstripes.

Major league baseball is finally back. After weeks of back and forth between Rob Manfred and the MLBPA, professional baseball will return in July. The return will also correspond with the return of baseball-specific sports betting, and bettors are already lining up to pick the favorite to win the American League.

According to data compiled by DraftKings Sportsbook, the New York Yankees are receiving a whopping 56% of total money placed on the AL Pennant winner. The second-place Tampa Bay Rays are receiving less than half of the Yankees’ output at a 20% of the handle. Third on the list is the upstart Chicago White Sox at 9%, who outpace the Rays in the percentage of bets by 4%.

The Yankees are coming off a season plagued by injuries. Seemingly everyday a new injury surfaced in the clubhouse, but that didn’t stop the Bronx Bombers from piecing together a tremendous season due to the resilient substitutes and terrific managing from Aaron Boone.

Now, the Yankees come back healthy thanks to the prolonged offseason, plus bringing along the superstar signing of Gerrit Cole. It’s no surprise the Yanks pace the AL in percentage of total money placed, but what may be the most interesting stat is the slump the Astros have hit in the eyes of sports bettors.

The reigning AL champs received only 1% of the handle on DraftKings, tied with teams such as the Orioles and Blue Jays. It may be the pure hatred towards the franchise because of the sign-stealing scandal, or it may be the pure faith in the Yankees to get their comeuppance and dethrone the Astros once and for all.

After a crushing walk-off last season by the hands of Jose Altuve and the ‘Stros, both the team and evidently, bettors, believe it is the Yankees’ time to shine in the American League. Perhaps this is the year the Yankees break their World Series drought too.

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