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The race to #30
2008-09-11 09:57
by Bob Timmermann

The battle for the #1 pick in the 2009 draft is coming down to three teams, with a fourth making a late charge. And three of the "contenders" will play against each other down the stretch.

The standings:

  • Washington 56-90
  • San Diego 56-90
  • Seattle 57-87  2 GB
  • Pittsburgh 60-85 4 1/2 GB

Remaining games left:

  • Washington - 3 at Florida, 4 vs New York, 3 vs San Diego, 3 vs Florida, 3 at Philadelphia
  • San Diego - 4 vs San Francisco, 3 at Colorado, 3 at Washington, 3 at Los Angeles, 3 vs Pittsburgh
  • Seattle - 4 at Los Angeles (Anaheim), 4 at Kansas City, 3 at Oakland, 4 vs Los Angeles, 3 vs Oakland
  • Pittsburgh - 1 at Houston, 3 vs St. Louis, 4 vs Los Angeles, 3 vs Houston, 3 at Milwaukee, 3 at San Diego

The Mariners probably have the least favorable schedule for getting the worst record as they play no teams who have anything to play for. The Angels will just be trying to not get hurt, although it's likely that the Angels reserves are still a lot better than the Mariners starters.

I am not a draft expert so I don't know what the tiebreaker is if two teams with the same record for the #1 spot. I'm guessing that the record the year before would prevail. So if San Diego and Washington finished tied, the Nats would pick first. But if someone knows the correct answer, please tell me and I will correct this info.

The Pirates could be a dark horse as they have a brutal schedule. Houston is hot and making a late run at the playoffs. The Cardinals still have a shot too. The Dodgers will be looking to make some hay in the NL West.

San Diego plays at Washington on September 19-21. Buy your tickets now! The Padres schedule is pretty easy down the stretch, with the kicker being that the Padres aren't very good.


2008-09-11 10:19:49
1.   Sam DC
The small print here confirms your view of the tiebreaker.

2008-09-11 10:25:37
2.   Bob Timmermann
Thanks. I don't think anyone outside of Pittsburgh can make a run. The Royals have too many teams to jump over.
2008-09-11 11:18:37
3.   chrisneedham
Let's Go Nats! Let's Go Nats! Let's Go Nats!!!
2008-09-11 11:23:12
4.   ToyCannon
Does it matter? Will any of these small market teams pony up for the best player available? Baseball Bush mocks the attempts of the Padres to get the number one pick.
2008-09-11 14:51:07
5.   Sandus
No draft is more meaningless than baseball's. The best players are never drafted in order, 99% of the guys taken never see a major league game, and players from outside of the United States can't even be drafted.

Why can't baseball operate like world soccer, where teams bid on players when they're young and bring them along in the minors or in an academy until they're ready for the big stage?

The notion of drafting a high school kid and paying him millions up front just because he was picked "ahead" of somebody else is foolish, especially considering that his bonus is likely more contingent on his choice of agent than his on-field performance.

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