An added treat to look forward to from this year’s winter meetings: MLB’s first-ever draft lottery.
As previously reported by Joe Doyle and now confirmed by MLB, the Draft Lottery will take place on the Tuesday evening of the Winter Meetings on December 6:
If MLB cares about the Cubs, they’ll rig it to make the Cubs’ 1.1 percent chance of being the first pick a reality. I’m just saying.
Overall, the Cubs’ odds of landing a lottery pick (one of the top six picks) is about 10%. So there is your rooting interest on December 6th.
From our previous discussionwhen the Cubs’ last-day victory moved them from 10th to 12th place:
In 12th place, the Cubs have only a 1.10% chance of landing the first pick in the lottery (thanks to Tankathon for the odds table). Since the top six picks are assigned by lottery, the Cubs also have a small chance of landing one of picks two through six (the total chance of landing in the top six is about 10%). From there, the Cubs can’t land anywhere else before their own 12 pick location, where they’ll have a 64.0% chance of picking. Falling to 13 is a 23.7% chance and falling to 14 is 2.3%. They can drop to 15 or even 16, but those chances are slim. So if that happens, you’ll know the baseball gods hate the Cubs.
In other words, it’s extremely likely that the Cubs will pick 12th or 13th in the first round of the 2023 MLB Draft (and if they appear in the top six, that would be great!). In rounds 2 and beyond, they will pick the 12th no matter what happens in the lottery.
What would it all look like if they had finished in 10th place instead? Well, the odds of being number one are not that different (1.80%). The odds of entering the lottery, however, are a bit higher, at around 16%. One oddity, however, is that in 10th place you are much less likely to stay in your own slot (only 44.0%). Falling to 11 is 33.0% and falling to 12 is 6.3%. From there, the 10 can drop all the way to the 15, but it’s unlikely to go beyond the 12.
So, as you can see, it’s definitely worse for the Cubs to be in 12th place versus 10th, but the difference is a bit fuzzier than just a two-point drop (that’s the whole point of the lottery – you want teams to not care at all whether they land in place 3 or place 7 or whatever, because nothing is guaranteed). That said, the average pick point for the 10 is 9.5 and the average pick point for the 12 is 11.5.