As we approach the trade deadline, I thought I would take a look at the teams who will be contenders for the NL Pennant and those who think they are, but really... don't stand a chance in hell. Contenders: The Altanta Braves are tied with Arizona for the best record in the National League. They have always had good pitching and this year is no different. They are 1st in the NL in nearly every relevant pitching category with excellent performance out of every member of the staff. Julio Teheran is just as good as last year, and should be a lock to win his 3rd straight Cy Young. Offensively, they are nearly just as good. Freddie Freeman, Carlos Reyes and Danny Wood are the keys in this offense, and outside of a few minor injuries have stayed healthy all season long. They are currently 5th in the NL in runs scored and I do not see any signs of regression here. Biggest Need at the deadline: Production at 3B I nearly went with a leadoff hitter as I feel that Pasternicky's career year will begin to slow down at the wrong time for Atlanta. But after looking at the production at 3B, I really think this is the biggest weakness in the lineup. Sancho Gomez fields his postion well, and gets on base, but at third I want more production. I feel a late trade for a 3B will make an immediate impact to this lineup. The Diamondbacks have been a big surprise this year. They are watching the demise of the Giants who ruled this division since the league started and incompetence in the rest of the division. This is certainly the easiest division in baseball, and the Dbags are feasting on it and are 15-9 against the NL West. In addition, their 40-11 record at home should certainly open some eyes. This team is getting it done with offense, and is 2nd in runs scored. Conrad Tomshaw is a legitimate MVP candidate and Patrick Tolentino was listed in my best players by position feature as the best catcher in the game. This team is as good an offense as you will find in the league. On the pitching front, although they are in the top 5 in bullpen and starter ERA, it is a big dropoff from Atlanta. The backend of the bullpen is very strong, but I am hesitant to trust the front end. the rotation has been solid, but "Ace" Gabriel Iampos has to be a disappointment for Arizona. Biggest need at the deadline: RH OF Bat If there is any weakness in the lineup, its at the corner OF spot. Although they are getting decent production, they should really pick up a right handed bat. You don't want to take the big guys out of the lineup, and this is the only place they can do it. On the season they are 15-15 vs LHP and in a tight playoff series, this could make a difference Pretenders: The Reds currently lead the NL Central by a slim margin. They are getting it done with pitching, and their bullpen is 2nd in the league. In the rotation Mark Appel and Ardolis Chapman have been a dominant 1 and 2, and if they make the postseason, they will be dangerous. The problem is the offense. At 8th in the NL in runs scored, they have to find some production somewhere. RF Kyle Waldrop is doing very well against RHP, and perhaps should be moved down in the order to allow SS Billy Hamilton the opportunity to leadoff against both righties and lefties. Hamilton's pace is way off of last year's 83 steals, and right now only has 36. Moving him to leadoff only increases the thread. Finally, the bottom of the lineup is a bit of a disaster and they need to figure this out, or against good pitching, it will be a quick series. Biggests need at the deadline: Catcher They are getting zero production out of Mesoraco this year, and this could be the difference for this team. After a solid 3.5 WAR season, his production is abysmal. Although you don't want to get rid of him, he is just not hitting and it's possible his best years are behind him. A distant second behind the Braves, I like what is happening here in Philly. A team I legitimately thought should be in rebuild mode, looks to be the only other contender in the NL. Currently 2nd in runs allowed, and 8th in runs scored, they are in the same situation as the Reds. No offense. LF Nomar Mazara has to be a nice surprise for the Phils. Unfortunately he is absolutely killing the team at his current spot in the order vs LHB. His OPS is a full 200 points less than vs righties. If he could get on base or hit, I could understand it, but he is doing neither. Furthermore this team strikes out a ton, and doesnt draw many walks. Going to be hard to win a playoff series against dominant strikeout pitchers at that rate. As mentioned, their pitching has been solid and SP Juan Gonzalez has been filthy. Nothing about him leads me to believe this is luck, and he has been a legitimate ace for this team at just 26. Finally, Closer Daniel Schlereth has been dominant. a 92.9 save rate, and over 10 K/9 are excellent. Biggest Need at the deadline: CF I could understand keeping Daniel Fields around for his glove. If he had one, but there is nothing impressive at all defensively here. His offense is really bad, and this is the biggest need on this team. Anyone who can hit and field remotely close to Fields would be an upgrade.