A resident of Portland, Ore., Uduk is sitting pretty atop the active BTS leaderboard, having made 46 straight successful selections without a miss. His view from the front portends the potential for even greater things to come, as he's just 11 picks shy of the game's $5.6 million grand prize. In the history of fantasy sports, no larger jackpot has ever been proffered.
On Sunday, Uduk opted to sit tight and not pick a player. Doing so was well within his right, and his remarkable run will be on hold until Monday -- or whenever he wants to resume his ascent up the BTS mountain. A patient approach has not disappointed Uduk to date. After all, the 25-year-old understands how high the stakes are at this point; statistically speaking, he's more than 80 percent of the way to a life-changing payday.
If you want in on the fun, visit mlb.com/bts or download Beat the Streak, presented by Dunkin' Donuts, from the Apple app store or through Google Play. Participation is free, and all you have to do is …
Pick a batter, any batter. If that batter tallies at least one hit in the contest for which he has been selected, your streak rises by one. Make 57 on-point picks in a row -- one more than baseball's record 56-game hitting streak -- and you'll win more dough than the lifetime on-field earnings of Joe DiMaggio. As you likely know, he collected hits in 56 consecutive games back in 1941.
The prospect of besting DiMaggio's run by one might seem daunting, but BTS participants have several advantages over the Yankee Clipper. You see, Joe D. had to plod his way to history, upping his streak one game at a time and gaining no ground on his team's off-days. You, however, can …
Double Down: The Double Down feature allows Streakers to select two players on the same date, as Ip did on Thursday. If both batters record at least one hit, the Streaker's run advances by two games. But if either player goes hitless, the streak drops back to zero. Although the concept of sprinting to millionaire status may be viscerally irresistible, there is one caveat to consider. When one doubles down, he or she also increases the odds of a streak-ending 0-fer.
There is recourse, however, to rectify this potential roadblock during a streak's early stages. All you have to do is claim your …
Mulligan: Added to the BTS rules in 2012, the Mulligan Feature is a one-time streak savior that can be used early on, specifically on runs that are between five and nine picks long. Although this perk works during a small window of time, its benefit is indubitably immense. Some of the longest BTS runs have been saved by early-streak resuscitation therapy. Without this feature, we wouldn't have …
Ten new members in Club 40: What is Club 40, you ask? It's a major milestone for BTS participants.
Joining Club 40 is a great distinction. It's an accolade, a point about which to brag and boast to your friends. But most importantly, it's a sign that you're more than 70 percent of the way to being set for the rest of your years. And those in the BTS community have been getting better and better at chasing all that fame and fortune.
Entering 2013, Club 40 had admitted 32 members across its first 13 years of existence. We're talking an average of two to three entrants per year. But this season, a whopping 10 have been inducted into the impressive group.
Although our terrific 10 are inextricably linked by their BTS success, each Streaker's journey was somewhat unique in nature. Some participants, for instance, tried to race to the top, doubling down early and often. Others, by contrast, have taken a more prudent approach. A slow-and-steady style has worked for the likes of Uduk because the BTS rules allow fans to …
Take a Day off: Or two or 10 or whatever floats your boat. We are all adults here -- you have to be at least 18 years old to play, after all -- so MLB.com isn't going to compel you to pick a player on any given day. Just try to be in reach of 57 by year's end. Because an official BTS run -- just like a recognized MLB hitting streak -- won't carry over to the subsequent season.
And guess what, lucky one? Deferring on a date wasn't an available feature until 2013.
We won't pontificate about your predecessors -- who faced a much steeper BTS road than you -- but please appreciate that the rules have been relaxed over time.
And even if you can't secure a permanent place in BTS lore, you can still win a large sum of money by besting your BTS brethren. Just ask …
William Bryan: The overall BTS season leader for 2013, Bryan saw his run reach 47 before his fun came to a close. But if the season were to end today, the $10,000 consolation set aside for the participant who finishes 2013 atop the BTS standings would be all his.
And through an act of kindness outside the official rules, Bryan's remarkable run earned him a meeting with Braves outfielder Justin Upton. According to our records, Upton completed one of the most benevolent moves ever seen in Beat the Streak's 13-plus-year existence.
But Bryan's feel-good story aside, everyone understands that BTS is strictly business for Uduk and Ip at this point. The men are closing in on Bryan and inching toward a lifetime's worth of fame and fortune. Whether they can reach the apex of the BTS mountain remains to be seen, so let's all sit back -- nah, stand up -- and root them on as they chase history ... and a whole lot of cash.
Zachary Finkelstein is a fantasy editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less