What is the MLB Draft Lottery and what are the Red Sox odds of getting the #1 pick?

2023 Boston Red Sox Draft Signings
2023 Boston Red Sox Draft Signings / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages
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In terms of first round draft picks, the Boston Red Sox have a pretty good history. Among their picks are Roger Clemens and Nomar Garciaparra, and more recently Triston Casas and MLB Pipeline's No. 11 prospect Marcelo Mayer. But the draft isn't quite so simple now that it was just two years ago, when Mayer was selected, and the MLB Draft Lottery is here to throw a more complicated flavor into the mix. So — the Draft Lottery. What is it? Why is it? What does it mean for the Red Sox and how they'll fare in next year's draft? We've got the answers.

What is the MLB Draft Lottery?

The MLB Draft Lottery is an almost brand new event (the first ever draft lottery took place last year) that takes place during annual Winter Meetings and determines the order of the first six picks in the following year's draft. The draft positions of the 12 postseason teams are set in stone based on how far they competed, in descending order. The Rangers are set to pick last because they won the World Series, while the Marlins are set to pick in 19th position based on their knockout during the Wild Card series and their regular season record.

For the other 18 teams, their odds of picking first through sixth are determined based on their regular season record. This year, as the teams with the worst records in 2023, the Athletics, Royals, and Rockies all have the same chances to pick first, at 18.3% while the rest's chances descend exponentially (the White Sox have a 14.7% chance, the Cardinals an 8.3% chance). There are some exceptions — the Nationals have a 0% chance to pick first because they did so last year, and teams that went over the luxury tax threshold suffer depending on the position they draw. It's all a little confusing, but that's the gist of it. This year, the Draft Lottery will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 5 during Winter Meetings in Nashville.

What are the Red Sox's odds of getting the #1 pick?

The Red Sox, who finished the 2023 season at the bottom of the AL East with a 78-84 (.481) record, have a 1.2% chance of picking first in the MLB Draft Lottery. Their chances of picking second through sixth do go up a bit with each place, but they max out at a 2.8% chance of picking sixth. If the lottery shakes out in the way the odds expect — with the A's, Royals, and Rockies being the first three to pick and the White Sox, Cardinals, and Angels bringing up the rear — the Red Sox will automatically fall into the 11th spot based on their regular season record.

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