The New York Yankees were never going to continue at the pace they were on the first few months of the season. After a win on July 8, they were 61-23. That's not sustainable.
Yet, nobody expected what has happened to the Yankees since then.
The Yankees are 9-16 over the past month. They were swept in a three-game series by the St. Louis Cardinals, pushing their losing streak to five in a row. The Yankees' lead in the AL East is down to 9.5 games, the first time since June 16 it hasn't been in double digits.
The Yankees travel to face the Seattle Mariners, the team that started the Yankees' losing streak last week. The Yankees are small -115 favorites for Monday's series opener at BetMGM.
Seattle is having a resurgent season with some good young talent, and the Mariners are in the wild-card hunt. They have had issues against the best teams in the league, but did take the final two games of a series at Yankee Stadium. They are still trying to prove they've arrived, and a series against the Yankees in Seattle is a good chance to do that.
The Yankees just want to get right again. Even Aaron Judge's hot streak right after the all-star break couldn't totally carry them through this slump. It's not like 9.5 games is a small division lead, but it does feel like the Yankees are more vulnerable than they've been at any point this season. Ace Gerrit Cole is struggling, the rest of the pitching staff hasn't been great and the hitting is inconsistent. Nothing is working, and that shows by what happened the final two games in St. Louis: The Yankees lost 1-0 on Saturday and 12-9 on Sunday. When the pitching is good the hitting disappears, and vice versa.
It's baseball and teams have ups and downs. But the Yankees' downturn has lasted a long time. They were great for bettors for months, and now the right play might be fading them until they snap out of this slump.
Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:
One WNBA game
There's one WNBA game on Monday, as the New York Liberty faces the Dallas Wings. The Wings are 3.5-point favorites. That's all on the basketball front, and the sports betting slate is light other than that.
Seven MLB games
Almost half of Major League Baseball has Monday off, leaving us with seven games. The best game other than Yankees-Mariners could be the Toronto Blue Jays at the Baltimore Orioles. Toronto is a -155 favorite. Baltimore is still in the wild-card race after a fun few weeks, and they've been pretty good to bettors. Toronto has been good too, though Monday's starter Yusei Kikuchi has not had a great season. Baltimore isn't a terrible home underdog.
What's the best bet?
It's time to admit the Yankees are in a slump. I lost on them over the weekend, assuming they'd break out of it at some point. They haven't and it has been a rough past few weeks for them. I'll take the Mariners as a slight underdog, riding the Yankees' losing streak and what's sure to be an excited Seattle crowd.