Bogaerts helps BTS leader pull within 6 of all-time mark

Bogaerts helps BTS leader pull within 6 of all-time mark

Two Beat the Streak players remain within range of the grand prize, as user "csteele12" improved to 43 games by picking Xander Bogaerts, and fellow player "jmd4221" remained right behind at 41 games by staying pat Saturday night.

With the successful pick of Bogaerts, "csteele12," whose actual identity remains unknown, is now just six games shy of tying Terry Sims' all-time Beat the Streak run of 49, set earlier this year. The BTS leader is also within 14 successful picks of topping Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio's mythical 56-game hitting streak in 1941 and claiming the $5.6 million grand prize.

After finding success with Major League hits leader Jose Altuve on Friday, "csteele12" followed up with Bogaerts, who singled in his second time up at the plate Saturday in the Red Sox's game at Detroit. The hit rewarded a relatively risky pick by "csteele12"; though Bogaerts has been a smart play for much of the season, most especially during his 26-game hitting streak, he had been hitting just .197 in August coming into Saturday's action. "csteele12" may have caught the Red Sox's shortstop on the uptick, however, as his Saturday hit extended his most current hit streak to six games.

Play BTS, win $5.6 million

Meanwhile, "jmd4221" -- whose streak was also extended by Altuve on Friday -- opted to sit out of Saturday's action, but remains just two games back on the Beat the Streak leaderboard.

In Beat the Streak, participants establish virtual "hitting streaks" by picking one or two big leaguers per day, with participants' runs continuing as long as their selections collect at least one hit. To claim the lifetime's worth of fame and fortune, a Streaker must best DiMaggio's magic hitting-streak total of 56 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. The "Mulligan" is a one-time streak savior that can be used early on, specifically on streaks that are 10-15 picks long.

Although "csteele12" picked only Bogaerts on Saturday, users have the option of employing the "Double Down" feature by selecting two players on the same day. If both picks get a hit, the streak advances by two. If either goes hitless, the streak ends.

BTS players also have access to research filters within the app. Information 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 about more than just extending the streak. Yet another contest within the contest -- Bizarro Beat the Streak -- is open now through 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

To win, players pick nine batters they think will go hitless Tuesday night. If they combine to go 0-fer with a minimum of 27 at-bats, that's a Bizarro Beat the Streak no-hitter, which awards a prize of $2,500 (see official rules for full details).

There's also MLB.com's new BTS challenge -- the ".406 contest," where 0-fer 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 July 20 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.

Additionally, 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.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.