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Matchups, best bets for the American League side of the MLB Dream Bracket

MLB and DraftKings have partnered to bring together a simulation that links the best of baseball for all 30 franchises and two additional teams in a bracket-style tournament

American baseball player George Herman Ruth (1895 - 1948) known as ‘Babe’ Ruth. Photo by MPI/Getty Images

Today begins the first day of a kind of April Madness, where 32 all-time Major League Baseball teams will face off inside a computer simulation to determine a winner in the MLB Dream Bracket Presented by DraftKings. The American League side of the bracket consists of the 15 AL franchises as well as an all-time Negro League team, who will face the Cleveland Indians in the first round.

The tournament will be run using Out Of The Park Baseball 21, a simulation engine powered by advanced statistics, ratings, and a complete database of players going back to 1871. Each matchup will be a best-of-seven series between the teams until we get down to two final clubs to determine a winner for it all.

For today we’ll be deciding the American League, and you can enter here to win up to $500 via a free entry at DraftKings! You’ll need to correctly pick the eight American League matchups as well as three other questions at a rate better than your opponents to take home the win.

Here are today’s matchups, and you can see the entire roster for all of today’s teams here. Here’s a few of our best bets for today’s action!

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins

The first best-of-seven should be pretty close. The Twins are claiming Walter “Big Train” Johnson from his time as a Washington Senator, and have a few Hall of Famers with Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett in the every day lineup.

The Jays counter with Roy Halladay as their ace, one of the best second basemen ever in Roberto Alomar, and have some other rakers like Tony Fernandez and George Bell. We’ll take the Twins in what should not be a sweep as this could go six or seven games.

Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals

Hitting against pitching here, as the Royals can run Bret Saberhagen, David Cone, and Zack Greinke as a rotation in a short series. But besides George Brett and Carlos Beltran, they might lack a bit of pop in the lineup.

The Pale Hose Run Mark Buerhle and Chris Sale out there, but have plenty of bats in Pudge Fisk, Frank Thomas, Robin Ventura, Harold Baines, Paul Konerko, and more. We’ll give the edge to the Royals with that ridiculous rotation, and hope for a Bo Jackson 600 ft. pinch hit home run off the bench to win it.

Oakland Athletics vs. Tampa Bay Rays

The A’s got almost a 100-year head start here, and it shows in the roster. Eddie Plank, Lefty Grove, Vida Blue, Catfish Hunter is pretty good, and that’s before Jimmie Foxx, Eddie Collins, Rickey Henderson, and Reggie Jackson hit the on-deck circle.

Even if the Rays added some of their end-of-career wonders like Wade Boggs, Fred McGriff, and Jose Canseco (they didn’t), their rotation of David Price, James Shields, Scott Kazmir, and Blake Snell just can’t keep up. But when you don’t have a single Hall-of-Famer as a position player, it’s a tough row to hoe in a simulation.

How many home runs will Babe Ruth have in Round 1?

The Sultan of Swat and his Bronx Bomber teammates will be facing a pretty good rotation in this series: Felix Hernandez, Randy Johnson, Jamie Moyer, and Mark Langston will provide some resistance, but is anyone shutting down the biggest offensive force baseball has ever seen? We say The Babe goes yard twice in what we project as a five-game series in their win over the M’s.

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