The New York Yankees entered the season as the favorite to win their division and likely, the World Series. On August 5, after losing three out of four at the hands of the division rival Red Sox, they trail the division by seven and a half games. Their once vice-like grip on the Wild Card spot is now a mere three and a half games over the scorching Oakland Athletics. Forget World Series, this team might feel lucky just making it as the second wild card if the current trend continues. Here's why things are only going to get worse:


The Yankees have already lost Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez until at least the end of August, and Jordan Montgomery for the year.

Aaron Judge chipped his wrist, meaning he can't swing. According to Coley Harvey at ESPN, Judge still isn't even swinging the bat and his timetable for return could be a lot longer. Gary Sanchez already had a DL stint for his oblique strain earlier this season.

With Judge not in the lineup since July 26, the Yankees have gone 4-6 after salvaging the final game of a four game set with the Red Sox. In that span, they've lost to the Royals and Orioles and scored an average of 4.7 runs per game, down from the season average of 5.1. Granted, it's a small sample size and not that far off from the average. Don't let that number fool you, though, they scored seven in a blowout loss to Boston and five in bad losses to Kansas City and Baltimore.

Without Sanchez, Austin Romine was thrust into the starting role. Since Gary initially went down on June 24, Romine has started around 30 games. In his last 30, he's slashing .191/.220/.330. Of course, Gary wasn't doing a ton better in his time in the lineup, but he has the capability to get absolutely scorching as shown in the past.

Without Montgomery for the year, they've struggled to replace him. Domingo German had an ERA of 5.68 before being demoted to the minors. Johnathan Loaisiga didn't stick either. Chance Adams gave up three runs in five innings in his debut. J.A. Happ was traded for and he hit the DL.

Poor performances

Sonny Gray. Luis Severino.

Gleyber Torres. Austin Romine. CC Sabathia. Johnathan Holder. Brett Gardner. What do they have in common? All have been slumping. Sonny Gray has been mired in a season-long "slump." The rest have been poor lately.

Luis Severino had just won his 14th game of the season and held a 1.98 ERA. He was the frontrunner for Cy Young. Since that date, he's gone 0-3 and seen his ERA balloon to 3.08. In his last seven starts, he is 3-3 with a 5.35 ERA. His past three have been particularly bad. He's only lasted 15 innings total, giving up 26 hits and 16 earned runs. The team goes as Severino goes, and in this slump, things are not looking good.

Gleyber Torres was a frontrunner for AL Rookie of the Year.

Thanks to a recent slump and teammate Miguel Andùjar continuing to be hot, that's no longer the case. He missed some time with a hip strain, but in his last 30, Torres is slashing .240/.316/.470, well below his previous averages.

Austin Romine's struggles have been well documented in relief of Gary Sanchez. For CC Sabathia, in his last 15 games, he is 4-4 with a 4.20 ERA. He only lasted three innings in his previous outing. Johnathan Holder relieved him, faced seven batters, recorded no outs and gave up seven runs. In his last seven, he's gone 6.2 innings and has an ERA of 12.15. Brett Gardner has slashed .219/.313/.386 in his last 30 games.

While New York slumps, Boston and Oakland keep getting hotter.

Boston is 10-4 since the All-Star break. Oakland is 11-4 in that span. New York is 6-8.

Cause for optimism

As sad as it is, Sonny Gray's demotion to the bullpen will positively affect the team. George A. King III of the New York Post reported that Aaron Boone said about Gray "We have talked to him about being prepared for a lot of different roles." Lance Lynn steps into his spot after going scoreless in over four innings of relief for Gray.

There's a reason Luis Severino led the league in wins and had an ERA of 1.98. The Severino that has shown up for the last seven starts is not the Luis Severino that dominated the league over the past two seasons. There's legitimate cause to be concerned, but Severino himself is not concerned.

It's likely we'll see the Severino of old.

Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia are veterans and will certainly be fine. Gleyber Torres has loads of talent and will also be fine. Holder, Romine, and Gray are of less importance to the team, so their slumps aren't detrimental. Sanchez and Judge will return at some point. Happ will be back soon, as well.

More importantly, Boston and Oakland will cool off. Baseball is so streaky and impossible to predict, but cold streaks are inevitable (just ask the Yankees). Players slump and teams get cold. No team, even the Red Sox, is immune to it. The Yankees still have six games against Boston and three against Oakland, so there is hope yet.

40 out of the remaining 52 games for New York are against teams at .500 or worse. Either they'll blow the opponents out of the water like they should, or they'll tread water until the reinforcements come back in the form of Judge and Sanchez.