Hundreds of simulated innings in the inaugural MLB Dream Bracket treated fans to an epic final battle between baseball's oldest franchise and its most successful one. The Reds and the Yankees carried their showdown to a seventh game, concluding as 27 real-life Major League seasons have -- with the Bronx Bombers winning it all.
Five legendary Hall of Famers powered the Yanks' offense, with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra combining for 11 homers, 28 RBIs and 68 total bases. One of the biggest at-bats came in the eighth inning of Game 6 with New York down to its last four outs, when DiMaggio cracked a go-ahead two-run homer off Aroldis Chapman.
The MLB Dream Bracket was a 32-team, best-of-seven simulation featuring all-time teams for each of the 30 current Major League franchises, as well as teams consisting of Negro Leagues Stars and 25 & Under Stars.
The 26-man rosters for each of the teams, compiled by the MLB.com beat reporters, consisted of 15 hitters and 11 pitchers. For the simulation, players were rated using the average of their three best seasons on a single team. Rosters were constructed with balanced depth to specifically compete in a simulated regulation game.
The simulated competition, featuring the greatest players in baseball history, was produced by Out of the Park Baseball 21, MLB's most realistic strategy game (PC and Mac). Fans can register on the DraftKings mobile app to compete in contests based on the simulations.
Check back the week of May 11, when MLB will reveal the matchups for Dream Bracket 2, featuring 64 of the greatest single-season teams in Major League history. You will be able to make picks on MLB.com for a chance to win great prizes before the Round of 64 begins the week of May 18. Select games will stream on MLB.com and MLB Network's Twitch account throughout the tournament.
Game 1: Yankees 8, Reds 4
The Big Red Machine struck first in The Bronx, as George Foster belted a first-inning grand slam off Whitey Ford, but the Yankees clawed back against Tom Seaver. Gehrig laced a run-scoring double and Mantle hit a two-run blast in the home half of the first, and Gehrig belted a three-run blast off Seaver in the fifth that staked New York to a 6-4 lead. Ford settled down, completing 6 1/3 innings, and Derek Jeter and Tony Lazzeri drove in late runs as Dave Righetti and Goose Gossage slammed the door.
Game 2: Reds 6, Yankees 4
Cincinnati evened the series by pouncing on Ron Guidry for five runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, highlighted by Foster's sixth-inning homer. Jim Maloney blanked the mighty Bombers through five innings, striking out six. The Yanks attempted a late comeback, as Ruth hit a ninth-inning homer off Randy Myers, but his fellow "Nasty Boy" Rob Dibble came out of the bullpen to get Gehrig to fly out and Mantle to strike out to end it.
Game 3: Yankees 6, Reds 0
With the series shifting to Cincinnati, Andy Pettitte and Mario Soto locked into a duel that proceeded scorelessly until the seventh inning, when Lazzeri doubled home Alex Rodriguez for the first run. The Bombers blew it open in a five-run eighth, as Chapman issued a bases-loaded walk to Mantle and Berra slugged a grand slam off Myers. Pettitte scattered four hits in the 7 1/3-inning effort, combining with Mel Stottlemyre to finish the shutout.
Game 4: Reds 7, Yankees 2
The Reds hammered Red Ruffing for six runs, knocking the right-hander out early to even the series once more. Joey Votto and Johnny Bench each belted a first-inning homer off Ruffing, who was lifted after Barry Larkin's two-run blast in the second. Jose Rijo held the Yanks to two runs and three hits over 5 2/3 innings, including a solo homer by Mantle. Norm Charlton and Johnny Cueto combined for 3 1/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit relief, striking out six.
Game 5: Reds 5, Yankees 2
Cincinnati claimed the driver's seat in the series, rallying late against New York's bullpen. Pete Rose laced a two-run single off Righetti, snapping a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning. Eric Davis extended the Reds' lead with an eighth-inning homer off Gossage, as Chapman and Dibble held the Yankees hitless. Seaver struck out nine over seven innings, with the Yanks' damage coming on a first-inning wild pitch and Mantle's sixth-inning RBI single. Ford held Cincy to two runs and five hits over 5 1/3 frames in a no-decision.
Game 6: Yankees 4, Reds 3
DiMaggio connected for a two-run homer in the eighth inning off Chapman, helping the Yankees force the series to the limit. Despite a pair of solo Ruth homers off Jim Maloney, New York trailed by a run heading to the eighth despite a solid effort from Guidry, who permitted two runs over six innings. Frank Robinson's run-scoring double off Gossage in the top of the eighth briefly put the Reds on top, but Mariano Rivera struck out Foster, Ted Kluszewski and Davis in order to seal the victory.
Game 7: Yankees 11, Reds 6
A five-run fifth inning put the bubbly on ice in the home clubhouse, highlighted by Berra's two-run single and Lazzeri's run-scoring hit off John Franco. Though Pettitte lasted just 3 1/3 innings, dented by Robinson's two-run homer in the first and a pair of runs in the third, DiMaggio and Gehrig tied the game with third-inning blasts off Soto. Gehrig extended the Yanks' advantage with a sixth-inning homer off Franco, and Lefty Gomez picked up the win by spinning four scoreless innings of relief. Waite Hoyt finished off the series, inducing Foster to hit into a double play for the final out.