Thanks to the second Wild Card spot, more teams are in contention these days than ever before. Or maybe I should say more teams think they're in contention than ever before. Some clubs face improbable odds to go to October, yet they stick to it and behave like true contenders through the second half anyway.

That's good for baseball overall. More meaningful games means more excitement. That said, the second Wild Card can be bad for the trade deadline, because fewer clubs are willing to sell off pieces in late July. They all want to keep their guys and try to make a run in the second half. That generally makes the trade deadline a seller's market. It's simple supply and demand. The demand always exists, but with fewer teams willing to sell, there's not much supply, so prices go up.

Looking over the standings at the All-Star break, I count 19 clubs who could be considered possible buyers at the trade deadline. 19! Some are more serious contenders than others, but they're all within shouting distance of a postseason spot and could talk themselves into adding pieces for a second half run. Let's break down those 19 teams and their trade deadline needs. The clubs are listed alphabetically.

Baltimore Orioles

Record: 51-36 (+41 run differential)
Postseason Status: Two-game lead in AL East, four-game lead on Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Definite Buyer

The Orioles have used a great offense and a dominant bullpen -- All-Star Brad Brach has been excellent since Darren O'Day went down with a hamstring injury -- to overcome a decided lack of starting pitching. Their starters have a 5.15 ERA, third highest in baseball behind the rebuilding Reds (5.29) and Twins (5.26), and they've thrown an MLB low 470 innings, which means they're taxing the bullpen. Baltimore's starters other than Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman have a 6.44 ERA in 260 innings, so yeah. This is a major problem. Expect the O's to be in on every available starting pitcher, including rentals like Rich Hill and Andrew Cashner.

Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette know their team needs rotation help. USATSI

Boston Red Sox

Record: 49-38 (+66 run differential)
Postseason Status: Two games back in AL East, two-game lead on Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Definite Buyer

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has already started his deadline shopping. Within the last week he's added Aaron Hill to beef up the bench and Brad Ziegler to shore up the bullpen. With baseball's highest scoring offense in tow, the goal now is rotation help. Boston's starters have a 4.72 ERA, and that's with All-Star Steven Wright leading the AL in ERA. The BoSox have the prospects to make a true blockbuster for someone like Julio Teheran or Sonny Gray -- I don't think the A's will sell low on Gray, for what it's worth -- or maybe even Jose Fernandez. Rich Hill and Andrew Cashner are possibilities here too. Dombrowski usually doesn't mess around. His track record suggests he's going to go out and get the pieces his team needs without trying to get cute and make the perfect deal.

Chicago Cubs

Record: 53-35 (+139 run differential)
Postseason Status: Seven-game lead in NL Central, seven-game lead on Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Definite Buyer

The recent slump (6-15 in their last 21 games) may have Cubs fans feeling a little uneasy, but the good news is the club built themselves a really big division lead early in the season. They have enough breathing room to let slumping stars like Jake Arrieta and Jason Heyward figure things out. What do the Cubs need? Probably some rotation depth, especially given the way Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel faded late last season. Also, a shutdown lefty reliever would be a wise move. With all due respect to Travis Wood, he's not someone you want to send out there against Bryce Harper or Brandon Belt or Corey Seager in the late innings of a close playoff game. If the Yankees decide to put Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller on the market, expect the Cubbies to get involved. Will Smith and Sean Doolittle are other options.

Chicago White Sox

Record: 45-43 (-12 run differential)
Postseason Status: Seven games back in AL Central, 4 1/2 games back of Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Likely Buyer

If nothing else, the White Sox have already made an effort to improve their roster. They went out and traded for James Shields, replaced Jimmy Rollins with top prospect Tim Anderson, and signed Justin Morneau. Shields hasn't worked out too well and Morneau is still working his way back from offseason elbow surgery, so beyond calling up Anderson, those moves haven't had much impact. If Morneau is unable to provide much at DH in the second half, the ChiSox could look for a big bat, and keep in mind they have some money burning a hole in their pocket thanks to Adam LaRoche's retirement. Carlos Gonzalez or Carlos Beltran would be the best case scenario here. Some like Steve Pearce or Jay Bruce is more likely. Also, the White Sox could still use pitching. That's a blanket statement that applies to all teams, really. "They could use pitching."

Cleveland Indians

Record: 52-36 (+81 run differential)
Postseason Status: 6 1/2 game lead in AL Central, 4 1/2 game lead on Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Definite Buyer

The Indians are going to make maybe the best deadline addition of any team: Michael Brantley. Offseason shoulder surgery and a setback have limited Brantley to only 11 games this season. He's currently on a minor league rehab assignment and is expected to rejoin the team later this month. Brantley's not going to be an actual trade pickup, but he is a big bat the Indians did not have in the first half.

Beyond Brantley, Cleveland could use some bench help and a left-handed reliever for those high-leverage matchup situations. Their rotation is more than fine -- they have Cody Anderson waiting in Triple-A should one of their starters go down -- so the deadline is all about fine-tuning an already excellent roster. I will say the Indians strike me as a sleeper team for Jonathan Lucroy. Yan Gomes has had an awful season (30 OPS+) and the Tribe have the prospects to swing a deal, plus Lucroy's dirt cheap contract fits into the budget. I don't know if it'll happen, but he's a really good fit for their roster.

Detroit Tigers

Record: 46-43 (-1 run differential)
Postseason Status: 6 1/2 games back in AL Central, four games back of Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Likely Buyer

I know the Tigers sold at the deadline last season, but it seems unlikely they would do that two years in a row. Besides, they don't have Grade-A rentals to offer like David Price and Yoenis Cespedes like last summer. Detroit has a definite need for rotation help -- their starters have a 4.60 ERA even with Michael Fulmer's immediate excellence -- that goes beyond getting Jordan Zimmermann back sometime in the next few weeks. The Tigers favor hard-throwers, making Andrew Cashner a more likely target than Rich Hill. Someone like Michael Pineda or Nathan Eovaldi could be a fit here if the Yankees decide to take the plunge and sell. Also, if Justin Upton would start hitting like Justin Upton, that would be a nice deadline gift as well.

Houston Astros

Record: 48-41 (+30 run differential)
Postseason Status: 5 1/2 games back in AL West, two games back of Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Definite Buyer

The Astros have won 31 of their last 44 games to climb back into the postseason race following their brutal start to the season. They still have some ground to make up though, and there's a clear need for another big bat and possibly another starter. Carlos Gomez kinda sorta got hot for a little bit, but he's since cooled off. First base and DH have been problem areas too. Assuming the 'Stros stick with the just called up A.J. Reed through the end of the season, there's still an opening for another bat at first or DH. (Sorry, but Evan Gattis' 86 OPS+ just isn't cutting it.) The absolute best thing for Houston's rotation would be Dallas Keuchel finding his Cy Young form, though beyond him, Collin McHugh and Mike Fiers have combined for 195 innings of 4.43 ERA ball. Also, the Astros are another team I could see sneaking into the Lucroy sweepstakes with Jason Castro set to become a free agent after the season.

Jeff Luhnow has made some bold trades over the last 12 months, and they haven't all worked out. USATSI

Kansas City Royals

Record: 45-43 (-26 run differential)
Postseason Status: Seven games back in AL Central, 4 1/2 games back of Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Likely Buyer

For a defending World Series champion, the Royals sure do seem to have a lot of holes. The rotation has been terrible (4.99 ERA) -- Edinson Volquez, Yordano Ventura, and Chris Young have combined for a 5.40 ERA in 266 2/3 innings -- and there are clear openings in right field and on the infield. Even if you're the biggest Paulo Orlando/Brett Eibner/Cheslor Cuthbert/Whit Merrifield fan in the world, adding depth behind them would be a smart move. Josh Reddick strikes me as the perfect target here because he fits Kansas City's mold as a high contact hitter (11.7 percent strikeout rate) and excellent defender. Do the Royals have the prospects to get a deal done? They might not after using many of their best chips to get Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist last year.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Record: 51-40 (+53 run differential)
Postseason Status: 6 1/2 games back in NL West, 3 1/2 games up on Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Definite Buyer

More than anything, the Dodgers need Clayton Kershaw healthy. That's the first order of business. If that doesn't happen, nothing else matters. Both Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu recently returned from their surgeries to help bolster the rotation, though I still think there's an opening for another starter here, even after Kershaw returns. As the Dodgers have learned this year, health is no guarantee. I wouldn't rule them out on any of the top arms, including rental Rich Hill and long-term buy Jose Fernandez.

The Dodgers also have an opening in the outfield too. Andre Ethier could be a solution there once he returns from his broken leg, though who knows when exactly that will happen. There's only so many Howie Kendrick/Trayce Thompson/Scott Van Slyke at-bats one team can take in left field. They're all at their best as part-time players, not full-timers. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has a history of being methodical and unwilling to go the extra mile to get the big name. Someone like Carlos Gonzalez or Josh Reddick may make the most sense, but will Friedman be willing to pay the price?

Miami Marlins

Record: 47-41 (+1 run differential)
Postseason Status: Six games back in NL East, one-game lead on Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Likely Buyer

Of Miami's eight starting position players, seven have a 109 OPS+ or better. Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (64 OPS+) is the only exception. Furthermore, the Marlins also have Ichiro Suzuki (120 OPS+) on the bench and Dee Gordon due to return from his suspension on July 29. The offense is there. The Marlins need rotation help more than anything. Their starters have a 4.21 ERA overall, which isn't awful, but everyone other than Jose Fernandez has combined for a 4.68 ERA in 386 2/3 innings, so yeah. They've already added Fernando Rodney to the bullpen. Now it's time to get Jose some rotation help. The Marlins tend to think outside the box, so aside from the usual trade fodder (Rich Hill, Andrew Cashner), they could look at guys like Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Jorge De La Rosa, and Hector Santiago.

New York Mets

Record: 47-41 (+20 run differential)
Postseason Status: Six games back in NL East, one-game lead on Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Definite Buyer

Here's a question not many thought we'd be asking back in spring training: Do the Mets need to trade for a starting pitcher? Matt Harvey's season is over following surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, both Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard are pitching with bone spurs in their elbows, and Zack Wheeler's return from Tommy John surgery has been delayed multiple times. Logan Verrett is not Harvey, but he's a solid back-end starter. What happens if someone else gets hurt though? Suddenly the Mets are looking at having Verrett and Sean Gilmartin in their rotation. Yikes.

To their credit, the Mets have already brought in some pieces this year, most notably adding Jose Reyes to help cover for David Wright's injury. James Loney was brought in to replace the injured Lucas Duda, and Kelly Johnson was brought back for bench depth. The best offensive upgrades the Mets could make involve getting Travis d'Arnaud and Michael Conforto back to their 2015 forms. Otherwise the need here is general depth. The lineup is set, the rotation is mostly set, and the bullpen has been solid. They need tweaks, not an overhaul.

New York Yankees

Record: 44-44 (-34 run differential)
Postseason Status: 7 1/2 games back in AL East, 5 1/2 games back of Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Possible Buyer

Rumor has it GM Brian Cashman is ready to sell but ownership is not yet ready to give the thumbs up. The Yankees have danced around .500 all season long and 13 of their 16 games before the trade deadline are against contenders, so that stretch of games could cement their status as buyers or sellers. If they do buy, which I think is unlikely, they're going to be in the market for another starting pitcher and perhaps a big outfield bat to replace the now benched Alex Rodriguez. (Carlos Beltran would shift to DH.) New York is unlikely to dabble much in the rental market. If they add a starter, it'll be someone with control beyond this season. That rules them out on Rich Hill and Andrew Cashner, among others.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Record: 46-43 (+7 run differential)
Postseason Status: 7 1/2 games back in NL Central, 1 1/2 games back of Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Likely Buyer

Plain and simple, the Pirates need rotation help. Desperately. Their starters other than Gerrit Cole have a 5.17 ERA in 416 innings. Nope. Not going to work. You can't contend with a rotation pitching that poorly. Cole is on the DL and is expected back soon, ditto top prospect Jameson Taillon, so that will help. So will top prospect Tyler Glasnow, who made his MLB debut last week. The Pirates need more help beyond that though. Relying on pitching prospects to have an impact righty away is risky. I'm not sure any contender has a need as obvious as Pittsburgh. Last year GM Neal Huntington pulled an ace out of sleeve with J.A. Happ at the deadline. Surely he'd hope to repeat that success. Could another great stuff/mediocre results guy like Michael Pineda or Andrew Cashner be in the cards this deadline?

Neal Huntington (r.) has to find a way to improve his club's starting rotation. USATSI

St. Louis Cardinals

Record: 46-42 (+89 run differential)
Postseason Status: Seven games back in NL Central, one game back of Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Definite Buyer

As much as anything, the Cardinals could really use a true center fielder and leadoff hitter. That's not just a short-term need either. They could use a long-term solution. Randal Grichuk has not been able to repeat his 2015 success in 2016, and he's a corner outfielder faking center. Also, a true leadoff man would allow them move Matt Carpenter down to the No. 3 spot and into a more tradition run-producing role. St. Louis is the only team in baseball that has used only five starters all season, and those five starters have combined for a 3.97 ERA. I'm not sure rotation help is much of a priority, especially with top prospect Alex Reyes in Triple-A. The Cardinals could be in "tweak" mode. They may look to improve the margins of their roster without overhauling things.

San Francisco Giants

Record: 57-33 (+73 run differential)
Postseason Status: 6 1/2 game lead in NL West, 10-game lead on Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Definite Buyer

Assuming the Giants are confident they'll get Hunter Pence (hamstring), Joe Panik (concussion), and Matt Duffy (Achilles) back at some point in the second half, the bullpen will be the priority. Santiago Casilla has not been as automatic as in years past, and the middle relief crew has been hit or miss all year. San Francisco has a knack for getting the right player at the right time -- they did it during each of their recent World Series runs (Pat Burrell, Marco Scutaro, Jake Peavy), so the only real question is whether they go big (Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller) or go small (Jeanmar Gomez, Fernando Abad) with their bullpen help. Also, I wouldn't rule the Giants out on rotation help either, even with Jake Peavy pitching better of late. Rich Hill seems like the quintessential "trade deadline pickup to World Series hero" Giants success story, doesn't he?

Seattle Mariners

Record: 45-44 (+51 run differential)
Postseason Status: 8 1/2 back in AL West, five games back of Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Possible Buyer

For the first time in a long time, scoring runs is not a problem for the Mariners. They've hit the second most homers in baseball (132) and they're averaging a healthy 4.89 runs per game. The pitching staff is the bigger issue. Seattle has rotation help coming in Felix Hernandez (calf) and Taijuan Walker (foot), both of whom are due to return early in the second half. Should either of them suffer a setback, it would make sense for the Mariners to look for a starter, assuming they want to make a run at their first postseason spot since 2001. Bullpen help, as always, is another priority. Expect the M's to target players they can control beyond this season in trade talks, not rentals.

Texas Rangers

Record: 54-36 (+16 run differential)
Postseason Status: 5 1/2 games up in AL West, 3 1/2 game lead on Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Definite Buyer

Considering they have the best record in the AL, boy do the Rangers have some big time pitching needs. It doesn't help that Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, and Keone Kela are all on the DL. (Darvish and Kela are due back reasonably soon.) The bullpen in particular is a sore spot, even after the Matt Bush call-up. Texas' relievers have a 5.40 ERA and an unfathomably low 6.9 K/9. Outside of Bush and Jake Diekman, they don't have anyone who can come in and miss bats in a big spot. Expect the Rangers to keep an eye out for a starter and aggressively pursue bullpen upgrades. GM Jon Daniels usually doesn't screw around. He goes after the best possible players, which could mean Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller if the Yankees sell, or others like Will Smith, Jeremy Jeffress, or Arodys Vizcaino.

Toronto Blue Jays

Record: 51-40 (+75 run differential)
Postseason Status: Two games back in AL East, two-game lead on Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Definite Buyer

Now that the offense is clicking -- the team hopes Jose Bautista (toe) will return later this month -- the Blue Jays have won 19 of their last 29 games to jump firmly in the postseason race. Jason Grilli has been a nice help, but the Blue Jays still have a need in the bullpen, especially with Drew Storen doing nothing to gain manager John Gibbons' confidence. Relief help is a must. Also, as good as the rotation has been, expect Toronto to be in the starting pitcher market. Marco Estrada's back is acting up and Aaron Sanchez is going to be shut down at some point. They could use depth in the rotation, preferably someone better than Drew Hutchison. The Blue Jays can score runs. Their deadline pursuits will involve arms.

Washington Nationals

Record: 54-36 (+105 run differential)
Postseason Status: Six games up in NL East, seven games up on Wild Card spot
Trade Deadline Status: Definite Buyer

Top prospect Trea Turner is going to play a big role in shaping Washington's trade deadline plans. If the Nationals are indeed comfortable running him out there in center field -- Turner is a natural shortstop, but they've had him take reps in center in Triple-A -- he could be their solution at that position in the second half. If not, outfield help will be a priority. The Nats have the option of pursuing a corner outfielder and moving Bryce Harper to center, remember, so their market isn't limited.

Will Mike Rizzo get Dusty Baker some new toys at the trade deadline? USATSI

Ryan Zimmerman's rib cage injury could push the team to pursue a first baseman depending on the severity. That said, they have the option of sliding Daniel Murphy over to first and playing Turner at second. It seems unlikely they would add a first baseman and replace a healthy Zimmerman outright. Also, bullpen help. Dusty Baker's affinity for Aroldis Chapman is well known, so if the Yankees put the hard-throwing lefty on the market, expect the Nationals to get involved. How about a package deal of Chapman and Carlos Beltran? That may work should the Yankees decide to sell.