Beat the Streak is back for the 2022 season -- and the $5.6 million prize is still up for grabs.
The idea is simple -- pick one player (or two) every day who you think will get a hit. The objective -- surpass Joe DiMaggio's record-long 56-game hitting streak -- is a bit more challenging.
But we are here to help with that. We'll provide BTS leaderboard updates and daily insights on favorable matchups in this space, as well as every weekday on the new “Beat the Streak Daily: Inside the Hits” podcast.
Let's take a closer at the action from yesterday and today:
Longest active streak: 21 (cfurst)
Longest season streak: 21
Longest streak all-time: 51
Most popular picks (yesterday)
1. Juan Soto, Nationals (9.3%)
2. Ketel Marte, D-backs (7.9%)
3. Corey Seager, Rangers (7.5%)
4. Gio Urshela, Twins (5.1%) *
5. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays (3.8%) *
* - Recorded a hit
Most popular picks (this season)
1. Trea Turner, Dodgers (10.4%)
2. Freddie Freeman, Dodgers (5.5%)
3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays (4.2%)
4. Starling Marte, Mets (3.8%)
5. Nick Castellanos, Phillies (3.7%)
HITTERS TO TARGET TODAY
José Ramírez, Guardians (vs. Yankees)
Ramírez has at least one hit in all 12 games this season -- and this is the perfect scenario to tie your virtual hitting streak to his real-life strike. The Guardians superstar leads all players with a blistering .426 average and his 10 extra-base hits are tied for the most in the Majors. Now, he takes on a starting pitcher in Jameson Taillon who's allowing a 92.1 mph average exit velocity -- but the key is what happens to that number when the ball is hit in the air. Taillon's average opponents' exit velocity jumps to 101.9 mph on fly balls and line drives, easily the highest among any pitcher in MLB. This is as good a spot as any for Ramírez to extend his streak to 13 -- and yours to one more than whatever it is now.
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (vs. Rockies)
This is nothing more than a gut-feeling selection. Cabrera enters the day sitting just one hit shy of joining the 3,000-hit club and it figures to be another incredible atmosphere at Comerica Park with the Rockies coming to town. Cabrera had a three-hit night on Wednesday to get to 2,999 before going 0-for-3 and being intentionally walked -- much to the chagrin of the hometown fans -- in Thursday's finale against the Yankees. Cabrera seems more like the type to come out and blast a homer to get to 3,000 than to let the pressure keep him at 2,999 much longer.
Seiya Suzuki, Cubs (vs. Pirates)
His on-base streak ended on Thursday, but Suzuki had reached base safely in each of his first 12 career games, while hitting .343 (12-for-35) with four home runs. He's also worked 13 walks in that span, good for a .520 on-base percentage. Now obviously walks won't help you in terms of extending your streak, but that just goes to show Suzuki's incredible plate discipline. That should come in handy against Pirates starter José Quintana, who has allowed 10 hits in 9 1/3 innings while racking up as many walks (five) as strikeouts. Look for Suzuki to zero in on his pitch and make the most of it.
OFFENSE(S) TO AVOID
Blue Jays (vs. Astros)
OK, so nobody is going to blame you if you still want to roll with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., but Toronto does draw a tough matchup here with Justin Verlander. The two-time Cy Young Award winner may not be on the same level as he was for his two no-hitters against the Blue Jays -- and Toronto is a very different team than the ones that were no-hit -- but Verlander has looked sharp through two starts in his return from Tommy John surgery. He has a 0.69 ERA while racking up 15 strikeouts and allowing only six hits over 13 innings.
Pirates (vs. Cubs)
This could certainly just be a case of a small sample size, but Drew Smyly has not yielded much hard contact -- or a single run -- through two starts this season. Smyly is allowing an average exit velocity of just 77.9 mph average, which is the best among all pitchers -- and it's not even close (the next lowest is 80.3 mph). Pittsburgh's offense has performed decently well this season, but it may be best to avoid the Bucs today until we see more from Smyly.
NOTABLE BATTER VS. PITCHER MATCHUPS
Nick Castellanos (Phillies): 7-for-13 (.589), 5 XBH, 2 K's vs. Freddy Peralta
Matt Chapman (Blue Jays): 1-for-18 (.056), 1 HR, 9 K's vs. Justin Verlander
Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox): 2-for-17 (.118), 3 K's vs. Corey Kluber