MLB Draft: Looking at the race for the No. 1 pick in 2020 and why the Orioles possess an advantage

Major League Baseball's 2019 first-year player draft ended a week ago. Already, we've covered the top candidates to go first overall in next June's draft. Today, let's check in on the teams that have the best chance at possessing that selection when the time comes in about 51 weeks.

The draft order is by and large determined by record. There are exceptions, of course. Some teams gain extra picks through free-agent compensation, or because of their market size. Others, like the Boston Red Sox this year, have their picks pushed back because they went too far over the salary cap -- er, the competitive balance tax.

With that in mind, take a look at the teams with the five worst records in baseball through Tuesday. Note that all of the teams presented here are on pace to lose more than 100 games:

TeamW-LWin%Proj WRun Differential











Blue Jays















Now, a quick note on each of the five teams.

Race for the No. 1 pick
For those wondering, if teams tie for the No. 1 pick -- that is, if multiple teams finish with the worst record in baseball -- then the tiebreaker is the previous year's record. In that case, the Orioles would hold the edge over everyone. It's not the kind of tiebreaker you'd like to possess, but it may prove to be a handy one for Baltimore.
The Royals have not won consecutive games since May 19-20. They'll have a chance to change that on Wednesday, having downed the Tigers on Tuesday night. The Royals also have the majors' worst winning percentage in one-run games.
All that separates the Blue Jays from last place is two games. They've been the worst team in baseball over the last 20 games, and there's a nonzero chance they get worse in the coming weeks if they decide to trade Marcus Stroman and/or Ken Giles.
The Marlins have now dropped six in a row following a hot stretch. "Hot stretch" is relative because their 13-17 record in their last 30 equates to a 70-win season.
Quietly, the Tigers have tied the Orioles for the worst run differential in baseball. They're being outscored by nearly two runs per game, which would put them in select company.

For more on who these teams are jockeying for the chance to select, remember to check out our preview of the top of the 2020 draft class.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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