Expectations are always high in The Bronx, but the 2024 MLB season feels like a crossroads for the New York Yankees.

After years of trying to keep their payroll in check, the Yankees threw caution to the wind in the winter and brought in Juan Soto to join forces with Aaron Judge, giving the Pinstripes a lineup that could contend with the heavyweights in the American League.

The starting rotation has question marks, especially with Gerrit Cole sidelined for the foreseeable future, but this lineup should score enough to mitigate those concerns.

The Yankees need Giancarlo Stanton to have a bounce-back year.

The Yankees are 9/1 (BetMGM) to win the World Series, making them the fourth-favorite behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros. The Bronx Bombers are also slights +175 favorites to win the AL East and are +400 to represent the AL in the World Series.

There are some obvious ways to invest in the Yankees if you’re bullish on their chances to contend in 2024, but rather than make a case for the obvious wagers (you can read about Soto or Judge’s chances to win the AL MVP anywhere!), I wanted to highlight some under-the-radar punts that could be a fun sweat for Yankee fans in 2024.

Clay Holmes to lead MLB in saves (18/1, Caesars)

This one is pretty simple. If you think that the Yankees will be contending for the AL East crown and beyond, it’s likely Holmes will play a pretty big role.

The sinkerballer has been the Yankees’ most dynamic reliever over the past two seasons and his 2023 numbers (2.86 ERA, 2.65 FIP, 27.1 K percentage, 8.8 BB percentage, 71 strikeouts) are encouraging.

Holmes will need to see a substantial uptick on his saves total (24) from last year, but the Bombers should give him that opportunity with an improved roster. This is also a contract year for Holmes, which is never a bad thing when it comes to these bets.

Clay Holmes is entering his walk year.Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Giancarlo Stanton to lead MLB in home runs (95/1, FanDuel)

We’re getting into legitimate long-shot territory with this one and that means you need to adjust your vantage point. This bet will almost certainly lose, but with so much attention being paid to Judge and Soto at the top of the lineup, there’s a chance Stanton is able to re-find his all-world form with so much lineup protection.

Stanton will need to stay healthy and find more consistency than he’s shown as a Yankee, but his batted-ball stats are still elite, so there’s at least a sniff of hope that he catches an unlikely second wind.

Nestor Cortes to win AL Cy Young (200/1, FanDuel)

There was a point in the middle of the 2022 season when Cortes was one of the favorites to win the Cy Young. The crafty southpaw was in the midst of a breakout campaign, but he came back down to earth over the second half of the season. He was expected to be a key cog in the Yankees’ rotation in 2023.

Unfortunately, injuries limited him to just 63 ¹/₃ innings and caused him to fall off the radar a bit going into 2024. But with Cole on the sidelines, Cortes will be the Opening Day starter and will, once again, be a massive part of the rotation.

If the 29-year-old can rediscover his form from 2022, he should have a chance to at least make some noise in a wide-open Cy Young race in the AL.