For the first time in MLB history, this year’s MLB draft will use a draft lottery system to determine a portion of the draft order. In past years, the draft would have been determined by the bottom of the regular season in the most recently concluded season.
A system like this may sound familiar to fans of the NBA and NHL.
The NBA started the whole draft lottery concept, utilizing the system all the way back to the 1985 draft.
On the NHL side, the draft order is determined entirely by the standings at the end of the previous year’s regular season.
Major League Baseball, like the NBA and NHL, will enter the lottery with every non-playoff team from the previous season .
Draft MLB Lottery Rules Explained
The main difference between the MLB lotteries is that six spots will be determined. There are four spots in the NBA, but only two in the NHL.
Another notable difference in the new MLB lottery is that some teams are not allowed to play for consecutive years. That means big-market teams (i.e., teams that don’t have a revenue share) can’t play two years in a row, and small-market teams can’t play three years in a row.
MLB Draft Lottery Odds
- Picks 19-22: Wild Card Series Loser
Pick 29: World Series Loser
- Pick 30: World Series Champion
According to the new The MLB draft rules negotiated as part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), with last season’s worst team not even guaranteed a top-six finish in the new lottery. The new rule was put in place to curb non-competitive behavior commonly known as “fuelling.”