LAS VEGAS (AP) — As soon as general managers started arriving in Las Vegas for their annual meetings, Major League Baseball set some odds — for its first amateur draft lottery.
MLB said Monday the lottery will take place on Dec. 6 at the winter meetings in San Diego, determining the top six picks next summer.
Under the agreement in March that ended the 99-day lockout, the lottery includes teams that failed to reach the postseason and didn’t forfeit their first-round pick, such as for signing a qualified free agent.
Washington, Oakland and Pittsburgh, which each lost 100 or more games, have the best odds of getting the top pick at 16.5%. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati both went 62-100 but the Pirates were slotted third because they had a worse record that the Reds in 2021.
The players’ association pushed for the lottery to discourage teams from trying to get the top pick. The Houston Astros lost 324 games from 2011-13, earning the top pick in three straight years, and went 70-92 in 2014, part of a rebuilding that led to four World Series appearances from 2017-22, including titles in 2017 and this year.
Players the Astros selected high in the draft included shortstop Carlos Correa (first pick in 2012), pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. (41st pick in 2012), third baseman Alex Bregman (second overall pick in 2015) and outfielder Kyle Tucker (fifth overall pick in 2015).
Among other teams in the lottery, Cincinnati has a 13.2% chance, followed by Kansas City (10%), Detroit (7.5%), Texas (5.5%), Colorado (3.9%), Miami (2.7%), the Los Angeles Angels (1.85%), Arizona (1.4%), the Chicago Cubs (1.1%), Minnesota (0.9%), Boston (0.8%), the Chicago White Sox (0.6%), San Francisco (0.5%), Baltimore (0.4%) and Milwaukee (0.2%).
The NBA started a draft lottery in 1985 and the NHL in 1995.
The MLB lottery starts at 8:30 p.m. EST.
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