Having fallen to the outskirts of the wild-card chase, and with Mike Trout injured, the Los Angeles Angels have become open to the idea of trading baseball's two-way superstar, Shohei Ohtani.

Ohtani could become the ultimate two-month rental - perhaps three months when including October - for contenders leading into the Aug. 1 trade deadline.

A trade involving Ohtani is rooted in logic since the Angels are unlikely to reach the playoffs and have a terrible track record of identifying and developing prospects. On the cusp of being the most coveted and most expensive free agent in baseball history this offseason, he could net the Angels some new pieces for the pipeline.

Every team would benefit on the field and at the turnstiles by adding Ohtani. But we were curious to evaluate which hopeful contenders would benefit the most. We're excluding the Dodgers because the Angels reportedly won't consider trading him to their market rival, which is considered among the favorites, if not the favorite, to sign Ohtani as a free agent.

To be considered in this exercise, a club must own a playoff probability of 20% or better entering play Wednesday. (The Angels are at 11% on FanGraphs.) This includes the Braves, Phillies, Marlins, Giants, Diamondbacks, Brewers, Padres, Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Twins, Guardians, Rangers, and Astros.

The clubs that Ohtani would help most are those contenders with voids at the top of their rotations and/or lack an impact bat at designated hitter. But we also considered other factors such as a lack of platoon balance in their lineups, and it also wouldn't hurt to play in a ballpark more favorable to left-handed hitting. We'll award points based on these criteria to arrive at a best-fit ranking.

Because Ohtani will be a relative bargain for the rest of the season - he'll be owed $10 million for the final two months, and he'll sell tickets - just about every market size ought to be in the running.

We'll eliminate one more team, the Braves, who are the only organization to lack at least one top-50 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline and FanGraphs rankings. The package for Ohtani is expected to be pricey for a rental. The Braves also own the best division and World Series odds. One could argue that lessens the incentive.

So where does Ohtani best fit? Let's explore.


Who needs an ace?

Having an ace pitcher is the most important piece for hopeful contenders in not only reaching the postseason but advancing through it.

We examined two criteria to identify top-of-the-rotation arms: strikeout-minus-walk rate, which measures largely what resides within a pitcher's control (minimize walks and miss opponents' bats), and FanGraphs WAR total, another measure of performance quality.

There are 18 qualified starting pitchers who enjoyed K-BB spreads of at least 20% entering play Wednesday, and there were 27 qualified pitchers with 2-plus WAR. Fifteen pitchers qualified in both categories.

Many contenders have at least one arm that meets either of those thresholds, and the Phillies, Marlins, Giants, Twins, and Astros each roster two. They have less need to add Ohtani's pitching prowess.

Four contenders lack such an arm: the Brewers, Orioles, Red Sox, and Guardians.