DraftKings picks: Harper, Trout, Sale
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 today.
Bryce Harper (Nationals): Harper is arguably the hottest hitter in baseball, with 10 hits -- including six homers -- and 13 RBIs across his past four games. The outfielder has posted a career .888 OPS against right-handers (.725 vs. lefties), so he could find considerable success in a matchup with Arizona righty Rubby De La Rosa (lifetime 1.41 WHIP) at hitter-friendly Chase Field.
Mike Trout (Angels): Having handled right-handers to the tune of a career .965 OPS (.901 vs. lefties), the outfielder could flash extra-base power or drive in multiple runs against Rockies righty Kyle Kendrick (lifetime 4.54 ERA, 1.38 WHIP).
Kole Calhoun (Angels): The outfielder could display his power against the right-handed Kendrick, as he has generated 59 of his 77 career extra-base hits vs. righties. Meanwhile, the Rockies starter has registered a lifetime 1.2 HR/9 rate and allowed 10 roundtrippers across six starts this season.
Steve Pearce (Orioles): Because he is hitting .179, Pearce could have a reasonable cost in DraftKings contests for his matchup with Blue Jays southpaw Mark Buehrle at cozy Camden Yards. The outfielder has compiled a lifetime .864 OPS against lefties (.691 vs. right-handers), and Buehrle has posted a 1.39 WHIP since joining the Blue Jays prior to the 2013 season.
Eric Hosmer (Royals): The first baseman could thrive away from his pitcher-friendly home park when he travels to hitter-friendly Globe Life Park in Arlington to face righty Nick Martinez. For his part, Hosmer has compiled a lifetime .795 OPS against right-handers (.677 vs. lefties).
Mike Moustakas (Royals): Hitting .327 this season, the third baseman could improve on his career .701 OPS against right-handers (.619 vs. lefties) when he faces Martinez at Texas' hitter-friendly venue.
Joey Votto (Reds): Votto is off to a strong start in 2015, with a .315 average, seven homers and 20 RBIs. Having accumulated a lifetime .982 against right-handed hurlers (.882 vs. lefties), the first baseman could thrive at his hitter-friendly home park against Braves rookie righty Mike Foltynewicz.
Jay Bruce (Reds): Because the outfielder is hitting .167, he could be a moderately priced option in DraftKings contests against Foltynewicz. Bruce has compiled a lifetime .812 OPS against right-handers (.725 vs. lefties) and a career .844 OPS at home (.730 on the road).
Gregory Polanco (Pirates): Polanco has recorded pronounced career splits, with a .736 OPS against right-handers that notably exceeds his .432 mark vs. lefties. The outfielder could reach base often or swipe a bag when he faces Phillies righty Sean O'Sullivan (lifetime 1.55 WHIP).
Pedro Alvarez (Pirates): Alvarez could put a ball into the outfield seats at homer-happy Citizens Bank Park when he brings his career .792 OPS against righties (.585 vs. southpaws) into a matchup with O'Sullivan (career 1.6 HR/9 rate).
Neil Walker (Pirates): With a lifetime .277/.346/.458 slash line against right-handers, the second baseman could accumulate multiple extra-base hits or RBIs against O'Sullivan (career 5.87 ERA). DraftKings participants could stack the switch-hitting Walker with lefty hitters Alvarez and Polanco, as O'Sullivan during his big league tenure has allowed left-handed hitters to post an .880 OPS (.833 OPS allowed to righty hitters).
Stephen Vogt (A's): Hitting .340 with eight homers and 26 RBIs in 2015, the catcher could improve on his career .781 OPS against right-handers (.676 vs. lefties) when he faces Red Sox righty Justin Masterson. As a big leaguer, the right-handed hurler has allowed lefty hitters such as Vogt to compile a .794 OPS (.611 OPS surrendered to righty hitters).
Chris Sale (White Sox): Because he has allowed 13 earned runs (14 total) across 8 1/3 innings during his past two starts, Sale could have a reduced DraftKings price tag. The usually effective lefty notched a 2.17 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP last season, and he could get back to his dominant ways against a Brewers lineup that ranks 28th in the Majors with a .598 OPS vs. southpaws.
Collin McHugh (Astros): McHugh posted a 2.73 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP during his 2014 breakout season, and he has followed that up with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP during the current campaign. The right-hander could continue to log quality frames when he works at home against a Giants lineup that ranks 29th in the Majors in runs per game (3.16).
A.J. Burnett (Pirates): Burnett has recorded a 1.66 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP across six starts since rejoining the Bucs, and he could continue to excel against a Phillies lineup that ranks last in the Majors in OPS against right-handers (.582) and runs per game (2.84). And because O'Sullivan could struggle to hold the Pirates in check, Burnett could come away with a win if he produces a solid line.
Edinson Volquez (Royals): The right-hander brought a 2.10 ERA into his most recent start on Thursday, but a blister caused him to walk six batters during a three-inning outing. However, Volquez should be ready to move past the ailment when he faces a Rangers lineup that ranks 28th in the Majors with a .618 OPS against right-handers. Pitching in front of a defense that ranks second in baseball with a .729 defensive efficiency ratio, Volquez could give DraftKings a quality outing at a reasonable cost.
All statistics are accurate through the completion of Sunday's games.
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB.