Beat the Streak leader run ends at 46 games

New leader now at 42 games after Nelson Cruz homer on Sunday

Beat the Streak leader run ends at 46 games

Another challenger fell just shy of Beat the Streak history Sunday as Graham Manning's run came to an end after 46 successful picks.

Manning, who goes by the username "manning.gpm," picked Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who went 0-for-2 with a walk as Houston was shut out 11-0 in Detroit. His streak ends just three shy of the record 49-game streak set initially in 2007 by Mike Karatzia and matched earlier this year by Terry Sims. Manning was 11 away from the $5.6 million grand prize.

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With Manning eliminated, new leader, dtra1203, whose real name remains unknown, extended their streak to 42 when Nelson Cruz homered off Brian Matusz in the first inning against the Cubs on Sunday.

In Beat the Streak, participants establish virtual "hitting streaks" by picking one or two big leaguers per day, with their runs continuing as long as their selections collect at least one hit in their contests. To claim the lifetime's worth of fame and fortune, a Streaker must top Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio's magical hitting-streak total of 56, set in 1941, by one. In nearly 16 years of BTS play, nobody has "bested" Joe D.

It's now easier than ever for players to chase down DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. Users now have the option of employing the "Double Down" feature, as Manning did on Saturday, to advance their streaks two games at a time.

Additionally, BTS research filters such as batting-order position, right- or left-handed pitchers and cold opposing pitchers are at fans' disposal. BTS players can also take days off between selections if they don't find ideal matchups.

Of course, the game is now about more than just extending the streak. There's also MLB.com's new BTS challenge -- the ".406 contest," where 0-for nights are OK. This secondary competition is an ode to Ted Williams' incredible .406 batting average in 1941.

If a player's BTS picks "hit" .406 or better from now through the season's end (with a minimum of 250 plate appearances), he or she will be eligible to win four tickets to six regular-season games in 2017.

Also, whenever a season goes by without someone claiming the $5.6 million grand prize, a $10,000 consolation prize is awarded to those atop the calendar year's leaderboard. On top of that, the BTS game-makers hand out millions of other prizes for streaks as small as five.

It would be especially fitting if a BTS user broke the BTS drought this year. After all, it's the 75th anniversary of DiMaggio's remarkable streak, which was commemorated with daily recaps on MLB.com and @TheStreak on Twitter.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.