This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
We're entering one of the most exciting periods of the baseball calendar: the lead-up to the trade deadline. It's shaping up to be quite a good one, as a large number of teams should be motivated to make a move. Four of the six divisions (the AL East, AL West, NL East and NL West) have at least three teams within six games of the division lead, so there should be no shortage of buyers looking to add pieces. We've already seen some minor moves, like Atlanta's Joc Pederson acquisition, but the major moves should be here soon.
This is also one of the most critical weeks of the fantasy season. We're past the halfway point of the calendar at this point, and fantasy football content is starting to pick up, so you may not have too much time left to engage the struggling teams in your league on a deal before their managers' eyes start to wander to other sports.
Additionally, you probably only have a few more days before the big real-life trades occur. If you're trailing in the standings and need to make up meaningful ground, you'll have to take some risks, and one of the most rewarding risks you can take comes from correctly assessing that a player's value is about to change via a trade. If your trade partner values one of their guys at their current level, but you successfully predict that the player's value will be meaningfully different within a few days, you