More MLB fans are rooting for the Yankees than any other team

Only one of the two most popular teams in Major League Baseball still has a chance to win this year’s World Series: the Boston Red Sox emerged from their victory over the New York Yankees in the divisional playoffs and will battle the Houston Astros for the American League pennant this weekend. 

The latest Economist/YouGov Poll, conducted as the divisional games were taking place, found a third of those paying attention to Major League baseball choosing the Yankees or the Red Sox as the team they most wanted to win the Series. Four of the five favorite teams of the final eight came from the American League (the Los Angeles Dodgers, the fifth team, is, like the Red Sox, about to play for their league’s championship). 

Fans hope the Dodgers win the National League title. There is no consensus on the American League favorite. 

The greater the interest in baseball, the more likely people are to have watched any of the playoff games. Among those who express any interest in Major League Baseball, 42% watched a playoff game. But those whom one could call the biggest fans, the figure rises to 72%.

Viewers are more likely to be men, and to be better off. But they are equally likely to be Republicans and Democrats (one of the few things these days that don’t seem to be affected by party identification). There are only small party differences when it comes to which team Republicans and Democrats would like to have win the series. There is equivalent support for the Red Sox and the Dodgers (and before they were eliminated, for the Yankees as well). But the Houston Astros, who now must face Boston, fare better with Republicans than with Democrats. Texas has been, after all, a red state, while Massachusetts has not.     

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