The New York Yankees 2022 season has been a tale of two stories. They held a massive 15-plus game lead in the American League East over one month ago. But as of this story's publication, the Yankees lead the Tampa Bay Rays by 5 games and Toronto Blue Jays by 5.5 games. With around one month left in the season, the AL East race is far from over. The majority of the Yankees' headlines as of late have been dominated by Aaron Judge, who recently crushed his 54th home run of the season. But even Aaron Judge could use some help.

Let's take a look at one player who must step up amid the Yankees AL East race with the Rays and Blue Jays.

Giancarlo Stanton

The Yankees are supposed to have two of MLB's most prolific power hitters in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. It should be noted that Stanton has been hit hard with injuries. Nevertheless, his on-field production has been lackluster. Stanton's batting average is under .220 and his OBP is below .300. He has an OPS of .750 and has clubbed 24 home runs.

The home run total is not bad when you consider the fact he's played in only 90 games. But he needs to do more than smash home runs. Stanton is an all-around good hitter.

He owns a career slash line of .265/.354/.537 with an OPS of just under .900. When Stanton is going right, he's someone that quietly racks up hits and walks. People tend to think of him as just a power hitter. But the fact of the matter is that he's a tremendous offensive player who can impact the game in numerous ways.

The Yankees need Giancarlo Stanton to find his rhythm at the plate.

Giancarlo Stanton's impact on Yankees, Aaron Judge

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The entire Yankees lineup would feel the impact if Stanton were to heat up. Aaron Boone would feel confident batting him in the middle of the order. Other hitters would feel better about taking walks knowing that Stanton will drive them in.

And Aaron Judge may see better pitches to hit. Judge is likely the front-runner for AL MVP at the moment. He's been the best hitter in baseball this year. And he's been able to do it despite Stanton's struggles. But his production may actually increase if Giancarlo Stanton gets back to his old self. When Stanton is right, he's an RBI machine. Pitchers would be less likely to risk walking Judge with Stanton looming behind him.

Aaron Boone does not always bat Stanton directly behind Judge. But it would not matter. Even if Stanton was due up two or three spots later, opponents would still consider his impact.

Can the Yankees survive if Stanton doesn't get it going?

In other words, will the Yankees be able to make a World Series run without Stanton at his best?

They technically could make a run if he doesn't find his stroke at the plate. But that would require players such as Josh Donaldson and Gleyber Torres figuring things out at the plate. But neither of those players can effect the game like Stanton can.

The Yankees would automatically become a legitimate World Series threat with Giancarlo Stanton producing at an elite level. It would provide the offense with a crucial boost alongside Aaron Judge. Stanton has around one month to figure things out at the plate.