Major League Baseball and DraftKings are creating some brand new content even if there are no MLB games taking place.
The league’s new “MLB Dream Bracket” will pit all-time teams from every franchise against each other in a best-of-seven tournament.
The promotion could serve as an entertaining option for baseball fans, especially since the start of the 2020 season is in limbo thanks to COVID-19.
Out of the Park Baseball 21 will simulate each of the games. Select games from the tournament will be livestreamed across the MLB’s website, Twitch channel, and the DraftKings mobile app.
The tournament will be completely free to play and will feature a number of prizes as well.
Sportsbooks and sports leagues finally making content together
The bracket challenge is providing more than just the entertainment value. It marks one of the first instances of a major sports league working with a sportsbook to create original content.
DraftKings became the standalone authorized gaming operator of Major League Baseball back in July 2019. That deal allowed DraftKings to start using official league data to help drive fan engagement.
The MLB Dream Bracket event is one big instance of the MLB really putting the partnership to work with a DraftKings-based event.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced sportsbooks to get creative, and this is certainly another example of that.
This year’s MLB season was originally going to start during April. The timing of the Dream Bracket event suggests that DraftKings and the MLB may have already had some events like this planned to coincide with the start of the baseball calendar.
At least for now, events like this will just be fun distractions. However, when the season finally starts, DraftKings could role out a slew of betting-based events similar to this one.
Details of the MLB Dream Bracket tournament
There are 32 teams. All-time squads.
The 26 best players from any point in a team’s history will make up that franchise’s all-time team. These best of the best teams exist for every MLB franchise, plus the Negro League Stars and 25 & Under Stars.
Beat writers for the MLB’s website put together the rosters. Each team consists of 15 hitters and 11 pitchers. For the simulation tournament, each player’s rating uses the average of their best three seasons with their team.
The seeding is based on each team’s number of World Series titles won, pennants won, postseason appearances, and its regular-season winning percentage.
Needless to say, the rosters are full of talent since they’re all-time teams. The tournament will feature a combined 185 Hall of Fame players, 115 MVP winners, and 61 Cy Young winners.
Since so many of these teams are from different eras of baseball, some adjustments had to be made. To make up for those differences, each team has been balanced with depth specifically for the simulation. To bump up the entertainment value of the event, the MLB Network’s Scott Braun and Jon Morosi will provide play-by-play coverage for the tournament.
The tournament has something for everyone, regardless of your favorite team.
This is probably the first of many events like this between the MLB and DraftKings. At least for now, things are free to play, but future events might have a betting focus.