The MLB Draft Lottery is Actually Stupid: Cubs Will Draft 13th (UPDATE)

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The MLB Draft Lottery is Actually Stupid: Cubs Will Draft 13th (UPDATE)

Chicago Cubs

UPDATE: Upon further review, the MLB Draft Lottery is a terrible idea, and it should be cancelled forever.

I kid, but the Cubs did actually wind up SLIDING a spot in the draft – from 12th to 13th – instead of jumping up into the lottery (top six picks). The Cubs had a 23.7% chance of falling to the 13th pick. Boo. Hopefully they use their good luck on getting all the right players signed this offseason instead.

Note that in the second round and beyond, the Cubs keep their normal pick (12).

The lottery winners, in reverse order: A’s, Twins, Rangers, Tigers, Nationals, and Pirates. The Nationals and Pirates were among the top odds teams, so that’s just about as expected. The big falls were for the A’s (2nd to 6th), Reds (4th to 7th), and Royals (5th to 8th). The Twins jumped all the way from 13th to 5th. I hate them.

*original post follows*

Well, this is cool! Tonight is the inaugural MLB Draft Lottery, smack dab in the middle of the Winter Meetings. For once, it seems, MLB has found the right coordination of events to maximize exposure and attention (but they should still move the MLB Draft back up to June).

The Cubs played themselves out of a primo position for tonight’s odds, but they still have about a 10% chance at landing one of the top-6 picks. The Cardinals, of course, are awarded an automatic top-5 pick, for competitive balance.

(I’m kidding, but admit it .. for a second, you were like “OH, COME ON!”)

You can read more about how the lottery works below. For now, here’s a shorthand look the Cubs odds. Brett also got way into the details a few weeks back, if you really want to dig in.

Cubs Lottery Odds:

  • No. 1 Pick: 1.1%
  • Lottery pick (1-6): ~10%
  • No. 12 (their own slot): 64%
  • No. 13: 23.7%
  • No. 14: 2.3%
  • No. 15: 0.1%
  • No. 16: basically 0%

In rounds 2 and beyond, the Cubs will pick 12th, regardless of what happens in the lottery, as the lottery applies only to the first round.

Good luck tonight, Cubs. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Broadcast Information

Time: 7:30 pm (CT)

TV: MLB Network

Streaming Options:, MLB app

How it Works

As you may remember, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement included, for the first time, a draft lottery for the teams that do not make the playoffs. The first six picks in the draft will be available to all non-playoff teams, with the odds varying based on the team’s final record.

After the first six picks, there is still a set of pick odds involved, it’s just that the first six picks are the only ones that are definitely available to ALL non-playoff teams; once you get past the sixth pick, you are eligible to win either one of the first six picks, your own pick slot, or lower.

So, for example, right now the Cubs could win one of the top six picks, could not win picks No. 7-11, could get the 12th pick, or could fall to 13th, 14th, or 15th. You can see the full chart here at Tankathon.

The Oakland A’s, Washington Nationals, and Pittsburgh Pirates all share an equal 16.5 percent chance at landing the No. 1 pick, in particular, with the Reds (13.25%) and Royals (10.0%) behind them as the only other teams with odds north of 10 percent — again for the top pick overall.

Here’s how the odds *for the top pick* shake out for each team:

  • 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%

The lottery applies only to the first round of the draft, and the draft order will be decided by reverse record for rounds 2-20.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami