Beat the Streak, $5.6 million prize back for '16

First to top DiMaggio's famed hitting mark wins lifetime supply of cash

Beat the Streak, $5.6 million prize back for '16

Seventy-five years ago this May, Joltin' Joe DiMaggio began his historic 56-game run with at least one hit per day.

And if things break your way in 2016, you could celebrate on that anniversary with a cool $5.6 million.

Play Beat the Streak for chance to win $5.6 million

Beat the Streak, MLB.com's flagship fantasy game, allows you to establish a virtual hitting streak by picking 1-2 hitters per day, with your streak continuing as long as your selections collect at least one hit apiece. To win the $5.6 million grand prize, simply beat Joe D. by one. It's free to play and takes only 15 seconds a day.

Zinkie predicts 2016 sleepers

But that easy commitment aside, no Streaker has won it all in the 15 years since Beat the Streak launched in 2001. Many have topped 40 and one person has even reached 49, so pulling off this historical feat should prove to be much easier than picking a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket (5 trillion times easier, according to our math).

This year, the Beat the Streak game developers have added a new picking feature in another attempt to help someone finally win the elusive grand prize. You'll now be able to easily filter on the types of players you want to pick, using the following attributes:

By handedness: As many Major Leaguers can attest, batters tend to fare best vs. opposite-handed hurlers. In other words, participants should frequently select right-handed hitters facing lefty pitchers and left-handed bats against righty arms. With the new filter tool, you can identify these matchups with one easy click.

MLB IRL: Fred Zinkie

By top of the order: The higher a player bats in the order, the more opportunities he gets to hit. Simple math. You know what else will be simple? Finding consistent top-of-the-lineup bats, thanks to this tool.

By hot batters: Are hot streaks predictive? Some would say yes. And starting in 2016, you'll be able to pick out hitters on a roll in the blink of an eye.

By cold pitchers: You were taught to never pick on those down on their luck. Well, forget that when playing BTS. When a hurler is struggling to limit hits, you'll want to give his opponents a deeper look.

By hitters at home: All things being equal, players tend to fare best in their home parks. Who doesn't enjoy a familiar environment? In BTS '16, you can sort by batters who slept in their own beds the night before.

By hitters on the road: We prefaced the previous passage with "all things being equal." But, let's be real. Things aren't always equal. And research has shown that batters with pitcher-friendly home parks experience a performance uptick when traveling to offense-inducing venues. Don't have minutes to peruse the mlb.com/schedule page? That's OK. Solid BTS road picks are just a second away.

Zinkie's five fantasy targets

By head-to-head and over .300: Still a fan of those good ol' batter-versus-pitcher stats? Well, they're back and better than ever. Now, you can sort by those who have hit at least .300 against the opposing team's probable starter.

And, again, these are merely the *new* features in your BTS bag of tricks for 2016.

As for the perks returning from years past …

Double Down: This feature allows you to select two players on the same day. If both batters notch at least one hit, your streak advances by two games. But if either player goes hitless, the streak drops back to zero.

Take a Day off: Or two or 10 or whatever floats your boat, assuming you're in no rush to make $5.6 million. We are all adults here -- you have to be at least 18 years old to play, after all -- so MLB.com isn't going to compel you to pick a player when the matchups aren't attractive. Just try to be in reach of 57 by year's end.

Mulligan: Added to the BTS rules in 2012, the Mulligan Feature is a one-time streak savior that can be used early on, specifically on runs that are between 10 and 15 picks long. Although this perk works during a small window of time, its benefit is immense. In fact, some of the most successful BTSers in history have been saved by early-streak resuscitation therapy.

But even if you can't secure the millions sitting at the end of the BTS rainbow, you can still win from approximately 2 million prizes available for streaks as short as five games. So don't be surprised if you find yourself with free merchandise, free MLB.TV or free seats to any game of your choice.

Last but not least, $10,000 will go to the individual who finishes the year with the longest streak, assuming that mark isn't 57 or higher.

So sign up for free today and you could be a multi-millionaire as soon as May 1.

Zachary Finkelstein is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.