It's no secret that the New York Yankees are fading fast. A once comfortable lead has dwindled down to stress-inducing levels. They have a 4-6 record in their last 10 games. They have lost three of their last four series.
The Yankees are entering perhaps their most important stretch of games this season. The next seven games are against the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays. Those are the two teams who have a chance of taking the division from the Yankees, as well as a playoff spot.
They have four games left against the Orioles, who are in second place in the division. They have six games against the third-place Rays. The Yankees are three games ahead of the Orioles and four games ahead of the Rays in the loss column.
A lot will be decided in the next week. The Yankees hope to maintain their division lead and clinch it soon. Here are 10 keys that are pivotal if the Yankees want to beat the Orioles and the Rays.