MLB Dream Bracket MVPs through two rounds


After two competitive rounds, the MLB Dream Bracket presented by DraftKings is down to the final eight.

The Dream Bracket began Monday with 32 teams, including 30 all-time squads from each club, plus a team representing the Negro Leagues and one stocked with current 25-and-under players. The matchups are being contested in seven-game series, with the results simulated by Out of the Park Baseball.

• Full bracket and schedule

In a tournament loaded with stars, some have shined brighter than others. The players below are a big reason why their teams are still standing, as they have dominated the action to this point. Here is the Dream Bracket MVP for each of the eight remaining squads.

American League

Astros: Lance Berkman (3 HR, 12 RBIs, 1.275 OPS)
Honorable mentions: Roy Oswalt (3-0, 3.05 ERA), Nolan Ryan (1-1, 3.15 ERA)

Berkman produced a .959 OPS in the regular season and a .992 mark in the playoffs over his 12 years with Houston, and the virtual version of the switch-hitter has carried on that legacy. Berkman went 8-for-16 (.500) with five RBIs as the 12th-seeded Astros swept the fifth-seeded Orioles in the Round of 32, and he followed that up by hitting .409 with three homers in Houston's six-game triumph over the fourth-seeded Tigers. Overall, Berkman has recorded 12 RBIs with a 1.275 OPS over 10 games in the Dream Bracket.

Red Sox: Ted Williams (6 HR, 14 RBIs, 1.147 OPS)
Honorable mentions: Jimmie Foxx (4 HR, 1.108 OPS), Roger Clemens (3-0, 2.49 ERA)

The Rangers actually held the Splendid Splinter in check during the Round of 32 (5-for-29), but the Red Sox advanced in seven games, giving Williams another chance to demonstrate his legendary hitting skills. The Hall of Famer rose to the occasion, obliterating Blue Jays pitching to the tune of a .538/.586/1.115 batting line with five homers and 10 RBIs in six games during the Round of 16.

White Sox: Billy Pierce (3-1, 2.05 ERA, 24 K's)
Honorable mentions: Chris Sale (1-0, 0.00 ERA), Minnie Minoso (2 HR, 1.011 OPS)

In addition to the players listed above, some credit should go to Ed Walsh, Ted Lyons and Red Faber. The Hall of Fame trio combined for a 1.04 ERA with four saves over 17 1/3 innings out of the bullpen in Chicago's first two series, both of which the White Sox won in five games. But ultimately, Pierce has been Chicago's MVP, recording an overall 2.05 ERA in four starts and winning both clinching games. Pierce pitched for the White Sox from 1949-61, posting a 3.19 ERA and earning seven All-Star selections.

Yankees: Lou Gehrig (5 HR, 7 RBIs, 1.106 OPS)
Honorable mentions: Andy Pettitte (2-0, 0.47 ERA), Mariano Rivera (4 SV, 1.23 ERA)

After getting by the 16th-seeded Mariners in six games, the Yankees faced another challenge in the Round of 16, but they prevailed once again, defeating the Indians in seven games behind four homers and a 1.552 OPS from Gehrig. The Iron Horse's performance made up for a lackluster first round in which he went 3-for-20 (.150) with 11 strikeouts, including four in Game 1. Gehrig's Murderers' Row teammates Babe Ruth and Tony Lazzeri also went off in Round 2 after struggling against Seattle.

National League

Brewers: Christian Yelich (2 HR, 3 2B, 12 RBIs)
Honorable mentions: Ben Sheets (1-0, 2.18 ERA), Mike Caldwell (2-0, 2.53 ERA)

The Brewers have been a resilient bunch in the first two rounds, coming back from a 2-1 series deficit against the Giants and rallying from a 3-1 hole vs. the Cubs. Although Yelich went 3-for-24 (.125) in the Round of 32, he drove in seven of the team's 28 runs in the series. The 2018 NL MVP Award winner collected another five RBIs in the Round of 16, hitting .320/.433/.680 with two homers, a triple and a double.

Cardinals: Rogers Hornsby (5 HR, 10 RBIs, 1.174 OPS)
Honorable mentions: Chris Carpenter (1-0, 0.63 ERA), Mort Cooper (1 SV, 0.71 ERA)

Hornsby, who once led the NL in average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage in six straight seasons, has lived up to his reputation in the Dream Bracket. The Hall of Fame second baseman has carried St. Louis, the NL's top seed, to a pair of six-game victories in the first two rounds, hitting a combined five homers with five doubles and 10 RBIs. After posting a .988 OPS in the first round against the Rockies, Hornsby was even better in the second round against the Phillies, going 13-for-27 (.481) with a 1.370 OPS.

Dodgers: Sandy Koufax (1-0, 2.22 ERA, 29 K's)
Honorable mentions: Don Drysdale (2-0, 1.62 ERA), Jackie Robinson (18 H, .400 AVG)

After helping the Dodgers win three World Series titles in the 1950s and '60s, the tandem of Koufax and Drysdale has been integral to the team's success in the Dream Bracket. Koufax gets the MVP nod, as he has started four games in the tournament and allowed only six runs over 24 1/3 innings (2.22 ERA), with 29 strikeouts. Overall, the Dodgers' pitching staff has been sensational, yielding 24 total runs in a pair of five-game victories over the Padres and Marlins.

Reds: Joey Votto (5 HR, 17 RBIs, 1.053 OPS)
Honorable mentions: Frank Robinson (5 HR, 1.030 OPS), Jose Rijo (1-1, 3.20 ERA)

The Reds' formula for success in the Dream Bracket has been simple: put players on base for Votto, and allow him to knock them in. The first baseman has tallied a whopping 17 RBIs in Cincinnati's 13 games, hitting .352 with five home runs and a .667 slugging percentage. Votto has been among the Dream Bracket's most consistent performers, posting an OPS over 1.000 in both of the Reds' series.


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