2024 MLB Draft Lottery: winners, losers and huge ramifications

December 5, 2023

The 2024 MLB Draft Lottery has come and gone and the draft order for next July is set. The lottery played out brilliantly for some organizations, and others won’t feel as fortuitous moving forward. The lottery will leave ripples in Major League Baseball through July 2025.

Once again, chalk went by the wayside and a couple of teams specifically won out.

For the full draft order, we have you covered HERE.


Colorado Rockies

The Rockies had absolutely nothing to lose by landing a Top-6 pick in the 2024 draft. They landed outside of the Top 6 in 2023 and had nothing being held over their head from a draft perspective this year. Colorado entered the draft tied with the Athletics and Royals for the best odds to land the No. 1 overall pick, and while they’ll end up picking third overall next summer, they fared much better than Oakland and Kansas City.

Cleveland Guardians

The Guardians had just a 2.01 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick. 1 in 50 odds. But they’re the big winners in this one. Cleveland was expected, according to the odds, to land the No. 9 pick in this draft. The difference in bonus pools between those two picks? North of $4 million in 2023. It’s a monumental coup for the Guardians.

This will be the first time Cleveland selects first overall in any draft in their organization’s history. They had picked No. 2 overall five times.

Cincinnati Reds

One could argue the Reds made out even better than the Guardians. Cincinnati had a 9% chance of landing a lottery pick and just a 1.07% chance of landing the No. 2 overall pick. Odds said they should expect to pick 13th this year. Not so fast.

The difference between the No. 2 overall pick and the No. 13 overall pick in 2023? That would be $4.15 million, exceeding the overage the Guardians inherited.

The Reds have selected No. 2 overall three times in their history. They selected RHP Hunter Greene in 2017, 3B Nick Senzel in 2016 and SS Kurt Stillwell in 1983.


New York Mets

The Mets arguably had the most to lose of any team in this lottery facing penalties had they not landed a lottery pick. Because they didn’t land a pick inside the Top 6, and because the Guardians and Reds passed them by, their draft pick falls ten spots to pick 19. The difference between pick 6 and pick 19 in the 2023 MLB Draft was close to $3 million. That’s an enormous amount of money to miss out on and it erodes flexibility after round one to get creative. The Mets entered the lottery with a 4.3 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick and roughly a 40 percent chance of landing a Top-6 pick. That was not meant to be.

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox had the 4th best odds to land the No. 1 overall pick and will end up selecting 5th overall. While it’s hard to be too disappointed after landing a lottery pick in any one draft, it’s the context of this draft that hurts the White Sox a bit. 2024 is shaping up to be merely an average draft at best and it’s strength appears to be college first basemen and second basemen. College pitching looks deep toward the back-half of the first round and into round two. Ideally, teams would like to draft a bit more on the dynamic side up the middle on any given year when picking near the top.

The considerably bigger issue here is landing this pick now ensures the White Sox cannot pick inside the Top-9 in 2025. For a team that seems to be stripping it’s roster down and positioning itself for a step-back year, one would think the front office would like the luxury of potentially landing a top pick in 2025 if the team’s record bottoms out next summer. That will not be the case. And considering there are other teams in the same situation, seeing their pick drop outside of the Top-9, if Chicago might see themselves picking outside of the Top 10 entirely in 2025.

Oakland Athletics

The MLB Draft Lottery has been a house of horrors for the Athletics and 2023 was no better. Stacked with the best odds to land the No. 1 overall pick (tied with Colorado and Kansas City), Oakland landed the fourth overall pick instead. The result will be a difference of close to $2 million in bonus pool monies.

Worse still? This second-consecutive lottery pick means Oakland cannot pick inside the Top 9 in 2024.

Kansas City Royals

For the second consecutive year, the Royals were tied for the best odds to land the No. 1 overall pick in the MLB Draft. It did not go their way. KC was passed by Cleveland, Cincinnati and the Chicago White Sox in the Top 6 and ended up landing the No. 6 overall pick. Brutal.

If there’s any silver lining, the Royals fell so far in the 2022 lottery that they are not picking in the Top 6 in back to back years. So as far as the 2025 MLB Draft is concerned, their odds of landing a lottery pick in that draft still exist. Not that the idea of being one of the worst teams in 2024 is sunshine and rainbows anyway.

New York Yankees and San Diego Padres

The Yankees and Padres both held minuscule odds to actually land a lottery pick, but the lottery sealed their fate. Both teams saw their first round pick fall ten spots. The Padres will select 24th overall and the Yankees will select 25th overall.

Joe Doyle
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