This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
We're at the quarter mark of the 2019 regular season, with teams having played anywhere from 37 to 43 games. The standings are beginning to make sense, as none of last year's division winners is more than four games out of first place, and only two of last year's playoff teams, a pair of surprises in Oakland and Colorado, are under .500. All six of the division leaders are teams that were were expected to be in the hunt this season.
The standings in our fantasy leagues should be beginning to make sense as well. While flukes are certainly possible, the teams toward the top of the standings are generally those filled with players who appear to be legitimate bargains and the teams towards the bottom are generally those filled with long-term injuries and players who seem to have little hope of living up to their draft-day price.
What can we do in leagues where we fall into that unfortunate latter category? Rather than giving up on a team that sits at or near the bottom of the league, it's time to change your risk profile. There's generally no difference between finishing last and finishing in the first spot out of the money and/or playoffs, so if you're sitting third from the bottom, why not make some moves that are likely to make your team slightly worse but could send you shooting up the standings if everything breaks right?
Increasing your risk take several forms. The most straightforward method is