BTS leader stands alone after Memorial Day

BTS leader stands alone after Memorial Day

By virtue of remaining inactive on Memorial Day, Beat the Streak participant "willmccormack14" is now alone on top of the active leaderboard in the chase for 57 straight picks -- one more than Joe DiMaggio's famed hitting streak in 1941 -- and therefore the $5.6 million grand prize.

"willmccormack14" -- an avid Yankees fan from Connecticut whose true identity has remained elusive -- entered Monday tied at 42 with participant "jbtortorella," who selected Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy and Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez from Monday's slate of games.

Murphy did his part to help "jbtortorella" advance, going 3-for-4 with a homer and a double. But Martinez was held hitless in four plate appearances vs. the Angels' Jhoulys Chacin, who gave up only four knocks altogether in a complete-game win.

jbtortorella was able to make two picks Monday using the "Double Down" strategy, whereby a BTS participant picks two players on the same day. If both get a hit, the streak advances by two. If either goes hitless, the streak ends.

Features such as the Double Down and the "Mulligan" -- a one-time streak savior that can be used specifically on runs that are between 10 and 15 picks long -- make winning BTS easier than ever now. Players also can take as many days off as they want during a streak if the matchups aren't attractive, as long as they reach 57 by season's end.

The latter strategy helped "willmccormack14" regain the active lead, though he is still tied with "jbtortorella" for the longest overall streak this season.

No one has won the grand prize, which has escalated to $5.6 million, in the 15 previous seasons of BTS. If nobody wins it this season, the player with the longest streak still gets a $10,000 consolation prize. Two million other prizes also were given out last year, for streaks as small as five.

Despite being the game's active leader, "willmccormack14" has not looked too far down the BTS road, whose cul-de-sac holds a lifetime's worth of fame and fortune. 

"I haven't really thought about winning and am trying to take it one pick at a time," he said.

"The most important thing I can say to other Streakers is that there is a lot of luck but there is some skill. Find a strategy that works for you and keep with it."

Having a BTS player topple the marvelous mark of 56 would be particularly fitting this season -- the 75th anniversary of DiMaggio's hitting streak, which began on May 15, 1941, and is being honored with daily recaps on MLB.com and @TheStreak on Twitter.

Thomas Harrigan is a fantasy editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.