How the Competitive Balance Lottery will work

I’m here in Secaucus, awaiting the official drawing for the first ever MLB Draft lottery. They’ve got the ping-pong ball machine/tumbler and everything (see left). Be sure to tune in on MLB Network’s “The Rundown” (2-3 p.m. ET) to see who was awarded the extra picks via this lottery. The order will be unveiled at 2:45 p.m. ET, I believe and I’ll be on hand for some analysis. Picks will be unveiled on the board to the right.

As I wrote in the preview of this event, a total of 12 picks will be awarded. The first six will come after the conclusion of the first round, the second six will come after the conclusion of the second round. As of right now, those picks will come picks 32-36 and picks 70-75 (unsigned picks in the first and second round push them back). That can still change based on a few scenarios come free agency time, but we’ll get to that at another juncture, but you get the basic idea of how it works/when the picks will come.

As I mentioned in the story, the odds are weighted in favor of the teams with the worse records in 2011. Here’s how it will work. For each pick, four balls will be drawn from the tumbler. The combination of the four numbers — all 999 of them — have been assigned to a team (For you math experts, there are two combinations not assigned to teams because of rounding issues. Sorry, that’s above my paygrade). The teams with the worse records from last year have the most combinations. So, for example, the Baltimore Orioles have the best odds of getting the top pick, the first pick in Comp Round A because they have the most combinations.

Here are the odds for each team to get the top pick, in percentage. Once a pick has been determined, the odds change for each pick. And the odds for a Round B selection change, obviously, after Round A has been chosen. All teams that did not get a Round A pick, along with the Detroit Tigers, will participate in Lottery Round B.

CLUB                   COMBINATIONS                    % Chance of Top Pick

BAL                                124                                                12.4%
KC                                   111                                                 11.1%
SD                                   111                                                 11.1%
MIA                                105                                                10.5%
PIT                                  105                                               10.5%
COL                                  99                                                 9.9%
OAK                                  94                                                9.4%
CIN                                   70                                                7.0%
CLE                                  66                                                 6.6%
STL                                   34                                                3.4%
TB                                     32                                                3.2%
ARI                                   26                                                2.6%
MIL                                  22                                                2.2%

TOTAL                           999                                              100%

2 Comments

Is there anywhere to watch this lottery?

Mr. M
I know you said you would ask about Manny Banuelos..I wanted to see if you heard anything. Thanks

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