Down To Two For First

Last night the Mets and Brewers both won, leaving the NL Wild Card race at a standstill. The Rays lost and Red Sox won leaving the Rays still without a clinched division title. The Twins came back from a huge deficit and completed a sweep of the White Sox, but that still left the separation in the division at one half of a game, just with a new leader now.

Those races are all highly publicized. One other race was pared down last night that might have gone unreported. With the Mariners losing, the Padres were officially eliminated from the race for the first overall pick in next June’s amateur draft. The tiebreaker for draft order is to award the earlier pick to the team with the worse record in the year prior and of the three teams vying for that top spot: Seattle, Washington and San Diego, the Padres had the best record in 2007, followed by Seattle.

This means that in the event that San Diego and Seattle tie in overall record come Monday, the earlier pick will be awarded to the Mariners. Since if Seattle wins out and the Padres lose out, the two teams would end up with identical records, there is now no way for the Padres to surpass the Mariners for the first pick. What that ends up meaning is still very much up in the air, but no matter who ends up emerging over the course of next Spring, draft picks get exponentially more valuable the closer they get to first overall.

The current consensus top talent, San Diego State starter Stehpen Strasburg, will be closely watched along with fellow southern California collegian Grant Green. In the event that their stock hold up into next June, that San Diego will have to hope that at least Seattle, and possibly Washington as well, pass on both can not fill them with much glee.

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

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Mark Smith
Mark Smith

The Red Sox lost last night, giving the Rays the title.