Here are the Detroit Tigers’ odds of winning first-ever 2023 MLB draft lottery

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers, despite losing their final three games of the 2022 season, went 11-5 in their final 16 games, all after former San Francisco Giants general manager Scott Harris was hired as the franchise’s president of baseball operations.

In past years, that would have left the Tigers — whose late-season spurt moved them from MLB’s third-worst record to its sixth-worst — looking up at five teams in next July’s draft in Seattle.

But now? We’ll have to wait till December to find out, as the Tigers still have a 7.5% chance of picking No. 1, and a 24% chance of moving into the top three.

As part of March’s new collective bargaining agreement, MLB assigns its top six draft picks via lottery. The teams with the three worst records — the Washington Nationals (55-107), the Oakland Athletics (60-102) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (62-100) — each have a 16.5% shot at the No. 1 pick. All 18 teams that failed to make the playoffs have a shot at No. 1, minuscule though they might be; the Milwaukee Brewers, who finished 86-76 have a 0.23% chance of picking No. 1.

The draft order is expected to be set at MLB’s winter meetings in San Diego in December.

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In addition to their 7.5% shot at picking No. 1, here are the Tigers’ odds at each pick:

∎ 8% shot at picking second.

∎ 8.5% at picking third.

∎ 9.1% at picking fourth.

∎ 9.8% of picking fifth.

∎ 41.9% chance of moving up.

∎ 10.4% chance of staying sixth.

∎ 12.9% chance of falling to seventh.

∎ 23.3% chance of falling to eighth (the most statistically likely possibility).

The Tigers can’t fall any farther than No. 12, which is where they drafted in the first round in July (taking Texas Tech infielder Jace Jung) after finishing the 2021 season at 77-85.

The lottery odds only apply to the first round, however. The Tigers will have the sixth pick in all other rounds, though they’ll forfeit their third-highest pick overall should they sign a free agent with a qualifying offer, as they did last offseason with left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.

The Tigers have had the No. 1 pick twice in the past five drafts, selecting Auburn right-hander Casey Mize in 2018 and Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson in 2020. Mize made two starts in 2022 after leading the Tigers in innings last season, and will likely miss all of 2023 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Torkelson made the Tigers’ Opening Day roster in 2022 but was sent back to Triple-A at the All-Star break. Recalled in September, he hit three home runs to finish with eight on the season.

Looking ahead to 2023, Indiana outfielder Max Clark is considered the top prep position player available (according to MLB Pipeline), while LSU outfielder Dylan Crews is the top collegiate hitter and Tennessee right-hander Chase Dollinger is the top collegiate pitcher.

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