Effectively Wild Wiki


Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the baffling trade rumors swirling around Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, and Kris Bryant, try to discern why they would be on the block, discuss how the likelihood of the top-rated team winning the World Series compares to the likelihood of the best team taking the title in other sports, and then conduct their fifth annual free-agent-contract over/under draft.


  • Fifth annual free-agent-contract draft


  • Sam is baffled by the trade rumors surrounding Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, and Kris Bryant. He feels that each of those players is more valuable to their current team than they might be to any other.
  • Ben highlights that each of those there players are in their primes and the Cubs, Indians, and Red Sox were close to playoff spots.
  • Team motivation for trading top players
  • A study by Rob Arthur estimated that 40% of the decline in MLB attendance was a result of increasing ticket prices.
  • Paper championships in MLB when compared to other North American sports leagues

Sam's Draft Results[]

Player O/U? Predicted Actual Diff Bonus Score
Gerrit Cole Over 256 324  68 10  78
Jake Odorizzi Under  51  17.8  33.2 10  43.2
Mike Moustakas Over  20  64  44 10  54
Kyle Gibson Over  18  30  12 10  22
Yasmani Grandal Under  68  73  −5  −5
Howie Kendrick Over  12   6.25  −5.75  −5.75
Marcell Ozuna Under  45  18  27 10  37
Will Harris Over  18  24   6 10  16
Total 488 557.05 179.45 60 239.45

Ben's Draft Results[]

Player O/U? Predicted Actual Diff Bonus Score
Zach Wheeler Under 100 118  −18 −18
Hyun-jin Ryu Under  54  80  −26 −26
Yasiel Puig Over   8 TBD TBD TBD TBD
Stephen Strasburg Under 180 245  −65 −65
Jose Abreu Under  28  17.8   10.2 10  20.2
Madison Bumgarner Under  72  85  −13 −13
Dellin Betances Over   7  10.5    3.5 10  13.5
Edwin Encarnacion Over   8  12    4 10  14
Total 457 568.3 −104.3 30 −74.3


  • Jeff won the 2018 Free-Agent contract draft which took place in Episode 1293.
  • Since 1966 only 48% of the time did the best MLB team (by ELO rating) win the World Series. In other major North American sports the best team on paper won the championship 73-80% of the time.
  • The free agent contract draft is based off MLB Trade Rumors contract amount predictions. Ben and Sam each pick free agents and guess whether their actual contract will be over or under the prediction. If they predict correctly, the difference in the actual and predicted contract is added to their total, plus a $10 million bonus. If predicted incorrectly, the difference is subtracted from their total. The highest total wins the draft.
  • The $10 million bonus is new this year, to increase the value of predicting relatively low-value contracts correctly.
  • Sam is really tempted to pick either Anthony Rendon or Josh Donaldson but doesn't have an idea how to know if he should take the over or under.