Cover Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

It might still be freezing cold in most places across the country, but at least it's finally spring training time around the MLB. With pitchers and catchers already reported and the rest of the teams soon to follow, now is a good time to take stock of what we're in for over the next nine months.

Just months removed from a dominant World Series victory, the Red Sox are primed for another massive season and surely want to become the first back-to-back champs since 2000. However, heading into the season, they're not actually the favorites in the American League. 

The Yankees are. 

It's a neck-and-neck race, as it will probably be all year, but the Yankees head into the season as the favorites in the American League at +280 while the Red Sox sit at +300. It really speaks to how good both of these teams are overall that they're in the same division but still the top two favorites in the league. 

Following very closely behind are the Astros at +310 and another playoff regular in the Cleveland Indians at +650. Cleveland took a bit of hit after their star shortstop Francisco Lindor went down with an injury. 

After the Top 4, the American League thins out and the odds reflect that. The Athletics are 5th at +1700, more than double the Indians odds. Then the Rays are +2000, the Angels are +3200 and the White Sox and Twins are +3800. Those teams are just barely fringe playoff contenders, let alone pennant chasers. 

It really is a three-team race in the American League this year as the deciding factor may very well be who has home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, which the Red Sox did last year and rode all the way to another World Series title. 

It's too close to call right now and, just like last year with Oakland, there may be a surprise playoff team in play. But as the weather starts to warm up, the New York Yankees are the AL favorites. 

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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.