The Contract Over/Under Draft is an annual Effectively Wild competition where the participants take turns choosing free agents and declaring whether they believe their eventual contract will be worth more or less than the predicted value published by an agreed upon third party source. The draft is typically held immediately after the conclusion of the World Series before free agents begin to be signed.
Though they have changed slightly over the years, the basic framework remains the same:
A single 'source of truth' is chosen that has published their free agent contract predictions for the year, typically from ESPN or MLB Trade Rumors.
Each participant goes in turn drafting players from the published list along with a prediction of "Over" or "Under" for their contract's total guaranteed value.
Each correct prediction earns points equivalent to the margin between the predicted and actual value of the contract. (Example: If Ben drafts a player that was predicted to earn $10 million and took "Over", and the player signs for $20 million, Ben earns 10 points.)
Each incorrect prediction subtracts points in the same manner.
The full value of the contract is used, not the average annual value.
Starting in 2019, a $10 million bonus is earned for predicting the direction correctly.
Note: An interim scoreboard erroneously calculated Ben Clemens's score for predicting Kevin Gausman's contract as +37 instead of +38. Ben Lindbergh used the erroneous value when reporting the results in Episode 1826. Fortunately, the error did not affect the standings.
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