Beat the Streak leader 80% of way to top prize

Beat the Streak leader 80% of way to top prize

The active Beat the Streak leader and his closest challenger both took a step forward on Tuesday in their quest to pass Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game run in 1941 and collect the $5.6 million grand prize.

After taking Monday off, user "peterose4477" got back in the game by selecting Astros second baseman Jose Altuve. Following an 0-for-2 start, Altuve singled to center field in the sixth inning off Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia. That extended the contest's longest active streak to 46 games, a season best and tied for the fifth-longest in BTS history. "Peterose4477" is now 80.7 percent of the way to that grand prize.

The only BTS players to ever put together longer streaks are Mike Karatzia (49 in 2007), Bob Paradise (48 in '08), Steve Summer (48 in '11) and William Bryan (47 in '13).

User "CollinMills" is not quite as far along. But when Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia sent a first-inning single to right field off the Orioles' Chris Tillman, that pushed the second-longest active BTS streak to 42.

The man behind those picks is Collin Mills, a 21-year-old from Citra, Fla., who stuck to his strategy of selecting one of the top three players in Boston's lineup -- Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts or Mookie Betts. Mills had picked the Angels' Mike Trout on Monday, when the Sox were off, but returned to his comfort zone on Tuesday.

• Play Beat the Streak, win $5.6 million

"While Pedroia was only 1 for his last 10, he has faced Tillman 79 times before tonight and was familiar with him, and he has had a .375 average against the Orioles this season," Mills wrote in an email to MLB.com, "so I felt confident he would get a hit tonight."

Mills said he was watching the game with his roommates and the group was "jumping around excited" when Pedroia came through.

"My parents ask me every day if I got a hit the night before, and my roommates and friends ask me every day who I picked and what time they play, and normally whoever is over watches the game with me," Mills said.

While both Mills and "peterose4477" made only one selection on Tuesday, BTS users also have the option of using the "Double Down" feature. 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, right- or left-handed pitchers 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.

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.

If someone finally collects the grand prize this year, it would be particularly fitting. After all, it's the 75-year anniversary of DiMaggio's remarkable streak, which is being commemorated with daily recaps on MLB.com and @TheStreak on Twitter.

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.