Welcome to DraftKings fantasy baseball, the Official Daily Fantasy Game of Major League Baseball.The players listed below could provide difference-making stats for DraftKings participants on Thursday.Nelson Cruz: The only player in baseball with at least 40 homers in each of the previous two seasons, Cruz could display his power when
Welcome to DraftKings fantasy baseball, the Official Daily Fantasy Game of Major League Baseball.
The players listed below could provide difference-making stats for DraftKings participants on Thursday.
Nelson Cruz: The only player in baseball with at least 40 homers in each of the previous two seasons, Cruz could display his power when he brings his lifetime .926 OPS against left-handers (.817 vs. righties) into a matchup with Tigers southpaw Daniel Norris (career 4.78 FIP).
:: Fred Zinkie's Daily Picks ::
Franklin Gutierrez: The outfielder owns notable lifetime splits, with an .847 OPS against left-handers that exceeds his .656 mark vs. righties. Gutierrez -- who has six homers across 82 at-bats against southpaws this season -- could excel in a matchup against the inexperienced southpaw Norris (67 2/3 innings).
Chris Iannetta: The catcher could deliver cost-effective production at a premium position when he brings his lifetime .861 OPS against left-handers (.709 vs. righties) into a matchup with the southpaw Norris and a Tigers bullpen that ranks 29th in the Majors with a 4.74 ERA.
Alexei Ramirez: The shortstop has long fared best vs. left-handers, against whom he has a lifetime .767 OPS (.685 vs. righties). Ramirez has the plate skills to succeed against Reds southpaw John Lamb (career 5.29 ERA, 1.54 WHIP) and the speed to swipe a base against Tucker Barnhart, who has allowed more steals than all but two catchers in 2016.
Miguel Cabrera: With a lifetime .323/.390/.565 slash line against right-handers, the first baseman has proven to be among the best in baseball during those matchups. Cabrera could hit a homer or reach base often when he faces Mariners righty Adrian Sampson, who will be making his second career start.
Steven Moya: The left-handed-hitting outfielder will be poised to display the power that resulted in 13 homers across 205 at-bats in Triple-A this season when he faces the inexperienced righty Sampson, who allowed four runs across 4 2/3 innings in his first big league start.
David Ortiz: In his legendary career, the slugger has posted an impressive .295/.398/.584 slash line against right-handers. Ortiz could add to his impressive 2016 totals of 18 homers and 59 RBIs across 236 at-bats when he faces White Sox righty James Shields (6.28 ERA, 1.70 WHIP in 2016).
Travis Shaw: The third baseman will be in prime position to improve on his lifetime .269/.343/.450 slash line against right-handers when he faces Shields, who has produced a 21.81 ERA and a 3.81 WHIP across three starts as a member of the White Sox.
Mookie Betts: With 15 homers, 11 steals, 51 RBIs and 61 runs across 331 plate appearances, the outfielder has been one of the most productive players in baseball this season. Hitting atop a lineup that leads the Majors with an .832 OPS against right-handers, Betts could contribute to DraftKings squads in multiple ways when he faces the struggling righty Shields.
Jackie Bradley Jr.: In his breakout 2016 season, the outfielder has posted a 1.004 OPS against right-handers in comparison to a .798 mark vs. lefties. Bradley Jr. could be part of a Red Sox stack -- including Ortiz, Shaw and Betts -- against Shields.
Curtis Granderson: Granderson owns notable lifetime splits, with an .859 OPS against right-handers in comparison to a .692 mark vs. lefties. The outfielder could thrive in a matchup with righty Matt Wisler (career 4.50 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) and a Braves bullpen that ranks 23rd in the Majors with a 4.37 ERA.
Michael Conforto: The second-year outfielder owns some of the most lopsided splits in baseball, with an .872 OPS against right-handers in comparison to a .287 mark vs. lefties. Hitting .154 since the outset of May, Conforto could have a reduced cost in DraftKings contests when he faces the right-handed Wisler (4.23 ERA in 2016) and an unreliable Braves bullpen.
Neil Walker: Having compiled 14 homers across 226 at-bats, Walker has been one of the most powerful players at his premium position this season. The second baseman could excel when he brings his lifetime .795 OPS against right-handers (.685 vs. lefties) into a matchup with the right-handed Wisler, who in his career has allowed left-handed hitters such as Walker to post an .879 OPS (.669 OPS allowed to right-handed batters).
Jake Lamb: As a big leaguer, the third baseman has produced an .804 OPS against right-handers in comparison to a .586 mark vs. lefties. Lamb could post a notable DraftKings total when he bats at homer-happy Coors Field against righty Eddie Butler, who in his career has allowed left-handed hitters such as Lamb to post a 1.050 OPS (.843 OPS allowed to righty batters).
Tim Lincecum: In his first start of the season on June 18, the right-hander held the A's to one run across six innings. Lincecum could have a stellar second start when he works at his pitcher-friendly home park against the same A's lineup -- which ranks 27th in the Majors with a .678 OPS against righties.
Rick Porcello: The right-hander could compile six-plus effective innings when he faces a White Sox squad that ranks 26th in the Majors with a .688 OPS against righties. Porcello could also pick up a win if his supporting cast builds on their big league-best 392 runs at the expense of the struggling Shields.
Matt Harvey: With a 2.08 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP across his past four starts, the right-hander is back on track after a slow start to the season. Harvey could spin a gem when he brings his impressive lifetime 2.88 ERA and 1.06 WHIP into a matchup with a Braves lineup that ranks 28th in the Majors with a .654 OPS against right-handers and last in baseball with 33 total home runs.
All statistics are accurate through the completion of Tuesday's games.
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB