For years, the NBA and NHL have set the top of their draft orders through a lottery system.
And Major League Baseball is about to do the same.
The new MLB collective bargaining agreement struck ahead of the 2022 campaign called for a draft lottery beginning in 2023. The change was made to discourage tanking, as finishing with one of the worst records will no longer come with the guarantee of a high draft pick.
With the 2022 regular season now over, the field for the first ever MLB draft lottery is set. Here’s what to know ahead of the 2023 MLB Draft Lottery:
How does the MLB draft lottery work?
In past years, the Washington Nationals would have simply been awarded the No. 1 overall pick in the draft for finishing with MLB’s worst record. But that’s no longer the case.
Now, all 18 non-playoff teams have a chance to earn the top overall selection through the draft lottery. The lottery has weighted odds ranging from 16.5% to below 0.25%, with the three worst clubs record-wise being tied for the best odds.
The top six selections will be awarded via the lottery, and the following 12 picks are then set in reverse order of the regular-season standings. That means the MLB-worst Nats could pick as low as seventh.
Teams that are recipients of revenue sharing cannot win a top-six selection more than two years in a row, while clubs that don’t receive revenue sharing cannot win a top-six pick in consecutive years.
What are the 2023 MLB Draft Lottery odds?
The Nationals, Oakland Athletics and Pittsburgh Pirates are tied for the best lottery odds at 16.5%.
The Milwaukee Brewers, meanwhile, are at the other end of the spectrum with just a 0.23% chance at the No. 1 pick. Milwaukee is one of six teams with odds below 1%.
Here’s a full look at each team’s odds for the top pick:
Washington Nationals (55-107): 16.5%
Oakland Athletics (60-102): 16.5%
Pittsburgh Pirates (62-100): 16.5%
Cincinnati Reds: (62-100): 13.25%
Kansas City Royals (65-97): 10%
Detroit Tigers (66-96): 7.5%
Texas Rangers (68-94): 5.5%
Colorado Rockies (68-94): 3.9%
Miami Marlins (69-93): 2.7%
Los Angeles Angels (73-89): 1.8%
Arizona Diamondbacks (74-88): 1.4%
Chicago Cubs (74-88): 1.1%
Minnesota Twins (78-84): 0.9%
Boston Red Sox (78-84): 0.76%
Chicago White Sox (81-81): 0.62%
San Francisco Giants (81-81): 0.48%
Baltimore Orioles (83-79): 0.36%
Milwaukee Brewers (86-76): 0.23%
How is the rest of the MLB draft order set?
The rest of the first round, which is made up of the 12 playoff teams, will first be set by which round of the postseason a club is eliminated in. So the four teams that lose in the wild card series will make up picks 19-22, the four teams that lose in the divisional series will be picks 23-26, the two league championship series losers will be picks 27-28, and the World Series participants will be the final two picks of Round 1. The World Series loser picks ahead of the winner.
The order of teams within each group (wild card series losers, divisional series losers, etc.) is first determined by revenue-sharing status and then by inverse order of the regular-season standings.
The draft lottery order only applies to the first round. For Rounds 2-20, the non-playoff teams will be sorted by reverse order of the regular-season standings.
When is the 2023 MLB Draft Lottery?
A date for the draft lottery has yet to be announced, but it’s expected to take place during the Winter Meetings in San Diego sometime in early December, according to MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo.