MLB Draft lottery, explained: Updated odds for every team to win the No. 1 overall pick

The MLB Draft received a shakeup last year when a lottery decided the top of the order for the first time.

A lottery was implemented by the collective bargaining agreement that ended baseball’s lockout in March 2022, and the purpose of the new measure was to dissuade tanking. Whether it’s served that purpose is up for debate, but the lottery did shake up the order a year ago when the Pirates were awarded the No. 1 overall pick.

Pittsburgh had the third-worst record in 2022 but was tied with the Nationals and Athletics for the best odds. Oakland slid all the way down to No. 6, while the Twins moved up eight slots and the Rangers jumped from No. 7 to No. 4. That allowed both franchises to unexpectedly land two of the best prospects in the draft in Walker Jenkins and Wyatt Langford, respectively. 

MORE: Watch the 2024 MLB Draft Lottery live on Fubo (free trial)

What surprises are in store this year? Find out how the MLB Draft lottery works and which teams have the best odds below.

MLB Draft lottery, explained

The MLB Draft lottery chooses the top six picks in the 2024 MLB Draft. 

When determining which teams have the best odds, the process isn’t quite as simple as ordering non-postseason teams from 2023 by worst record to best. Because of rules regarding revenue sharing, certain teams can be ineligible for the lottery. This year, that team is the Nationals.

Any team that gives money, rather than receives money, as part of MLB’s revenue sharing program cannot be chosen in the lottery in consecutive years. The highest the Nationals can pick is 10th despite having MLB’s fifth-worst record in 2023.

What’s the purpose of this rule? The league doesn’t want supposedly large-market teams to be incentivized not to spend money. By taking away the chance of a top-five pick in back-to-back drafts, MLB is removing one incentive for big-market franchises to tank.

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The only other rule to know relates to the luxury tax. The Padres, Mets and Yankees are all in the lottery, but because they passed the second luxury tax threshold, their first-round pick will be moved down 10 slots if it’s not selected in the lottery. If either team does land a top-six pick, they will keep that pick and see their second-highest pick fall 10 slots.

Outside of those two notes, non-postseason teams are ordered from worst record to best, with the three worst teams from the 2023 season sharing equal odds for the No. 1 pick.

Here is a complete look at the 2024 MLB Draft lottery odds.

2024 MLB Draft lottery: Odds to win No. 1 pick

Team Odds
Athletics 18.3%
Royals 18.3%
Rockies 18.3%
White Sox 14.7%
Cardinals 8.3%
Angels 6.1%
Mets 4.3%
Pirates 3.0%
Guardians 2.0%
Tigers 1.6%
Red Sox 1.2%
Giants  1.0%
Reds 0.9%
Padres 0.7%
Yankees 0.6%
Cubs 0.2%
Mariners 0.0%

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What time is the 2024 MLB Draft lottery?

  • Date: Dec. 5, 2023
  • Time: 5:30 p.m. ET

The 2024 MLB Draft lottery will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn. 

What channel is the MLB Draft Lottery on?

  • TV channel: MLB Network
  • Live stream: MLB.com, Fubo

MLB fans can watch the 2024 MLB Draft lottery on MLB Network, with streaming options to view it on MLB.com with a subscription or with Fubo, which offers a free trial.

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