Challengers gain in Beat the Streak race

Leader takes day off riding 45 straight correct picks

Challengers gain in Beat the Streak race

The active Beat the Streak leader took a hiatus on Monday, and his rearview mirror is getting more crowded.

"CollinMills" -- overseen by BTS user Collin Mills, 21, from Citra, Fla. -- pushed up to 41 consecutive correct picks with his selection of Mike Trout, who laced a 2-2 single in the first inning off the Twins' Ricky Nolasco on Monday night.

Mills now is just four games behind "peterose4477" -- who advanced to 45 on Sunday with the correct selection of red-hot Red Sox slugger Xander Bogaerts. To beat the streak and win the game's $5.6 million grand prize, one must make 57 straight correct picks to "top" Joe DiMaggio's magic hit streak from 1941.

Play Beat the Streak, win $5.6 million

Coincidentally, Mills has found similar success by generally selecting one of Boston's vaunted bats.

"My strategy is to always [consider] one of the top 3 hitters in the Red Sox lineup," Mills told MLB.com in an email.

With Sunday's pick, "peterose4477" passed BTS user "willmccormack14" for the season high, which is currently tied for the eighth-longest run in contest history.

A big moment in the run by "peterose4477" came last Thursday, when he utilized the Double Down feature to select John Jaso and Andrew McCutchen. Double Down allows fans to advance their streak by two games, but only if both of their picks get a hit. If one goes hitless, the streak ends.

Additionally, BTS research filters such as batting-order position, handedness and cold opposing pitchers are at fans' disposal to help make their decisions. They can also take as many days off between selections if they don't find ideal matchups -- just as long as they exceed 56 by season's end, which is benchmarked by Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game hit streak in 1941.

Since Beat the Streak launched more than 15 years ago, no one has made 57 straight correct picks to win the grand prize of $5.6 million. Besides the $10,000 consolation prize, 2 million other prizes were awarded for streaks as small as five games last year.

Having the grand prize cracked this year would be particularly fitting -- given the 75-year anniversary of DiMaggio's remarkable hitting streak, which is being commemorated with daily recaps on MLB.com and @TheStreak on Twitter.

If Mills goes on to win, he shared how he'd splurge.

"If I end up winning the grand prize, the first thing I'm going to do is pay off my student loans, and then after that I would probably buy a new car," Mills said.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.