The new collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and the Players Association calls for a draft lottery to determine the first six picks of the MLB Draft. The details on how and when the draft would happen were light until last week, when MLB announced that the first MLB Draft Lottery will be held on Monday, December 6, the first day of the Winter Meetings. The results will be announced on MLB Network at 5:30 p.m. CT that day.
All 18 teams that failed to make the playoffs this year are entered in the lottery and that includes the Cubs. Under the old system, the Cubs would have picked 12th in the draft, but this year they have a chance at the first pick in the 2023 MLB Draft! OK, so that’s a 1.1 percent chance of picking first in the draft, but that’s 1.1 percent more than they would have had under the old system. Of course, they could also slide down a spot or two if teams with even less of a chance at the first pick gets lucky and ends up with one of the first six picks.
Here are the odds of each team getting the first pick in the draft. The odds are determined the same way that draft order was determined in year’s past. The teams are ranked from worst winning percentage to the best. Ties are broken by the teams’ record in the year before, or 2021 in this case.
1. Nationals (55-107), 16.5 percent
2. A’s (60-102), 16.5
3. Pirates (62-100), 16.5
4. Reds (62-100), 13.2
5. Royals (65-97), 10.0
6. Tigers (66-96), 7.5
7. Rangers (68-94), 5.5
8. Rockies (68-94), 3.9
9. Marlins (69-93), 2.7
10. Angels (73-89), 1.8
11. D-backs (74-88), 1.4
12. Cubs (74-88), 1.1
13. Twins (78-84), 0.9
14. Red Sox (78-84), 0.8
15. White Sox (81-81), 0.6
16. Giants (81-81), 0.5
17. Orioles (83-79), 0.4
18. Brewers (86-76), 0.2
In the future, a team that receives revenue-sharing money can’t get a top-six pick more than two years in a row. A team that doesn’t get revenue-sharing money (such as the Cubs) can’t get a top-six pick in consecutive years. And if a team is not eligible for one of those lottery picks, they cannot pick higher than 10th in that year’s draft.
After the first round, the team with the worst record will pick first in the second round, the team with the second-worst record will pick second and so on for all 20 rounds. However, teams that made the playoffs will pick in the reverse order of their playoff finish in every round. This is a change from previous drafts. For example, the Giants had the last pick in each round of the 2022 Draft, not the 2021 World Series winners, the Braves.
So now the Astros will pick last in each round, even though the Dodgers had a better regular-season record. The Phillies will pick second-to-last, followed by the Yankees and Padres. Teams eliminated in the same round will pick with the teams receiving revenue sharing first and then followed by the teams in reverse order of their regular-season record.
If not, here’s how the playoff teams will pick this year.
20. Blue Jays
If you want to know why the Rays pick before the Cardinals or Mariners, read this article. It gets complicated and is based on revenue-sharing status and then regular-season record.
The Mets and Dodgers could drop down 10 spots if they continue to be way over the luxury tax threshold come Opening Day. That is very likely to happen.
It’s hard to predict who will be the first pick in next year’s draft in November, but at the moment, LSU outfielder Dylan Crews is the consensus top-rated prospect. Others who could end up in the top five are Tennessee right-hander Chase Dollander, Ole Miss shortstop Jacob Gonzalez and high school outfielders Max Clark from Indiana and Walker Jenkins from North Carolina. Of course, a lot of that could change after next spring’s amateur baseball season.