DraftKings picks: Davis could have big night
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The players listed below could provide difference-making stats for DraftKings participants on Friday.
Chris Davis (Orioles): The first baseman -- who has hit 126 homers since the outset of the 2012 season -- could rip a round-tripper when he brings his career .844 OPS against right-handers (.737 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Blue Jays righty Marco Estrada (career 1.4 HR/9 rate).
Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays): Since the outset of the 2013 season, Encarnacion has produced an impressive .263/.350/.538 slash line against right-handers. The first baseman could drive in multiple runs from the cleanup spot when he hits at homer-happy Rogers Centre against Orioles rookie righty Mike Wright, who will be making this sixth Major League start after registering a 1.31 WHIP in the Minors.
Chris Colabello (Blue Jays): The outfielder -- who has hit .344 since being recalled on May 5 -- could reach base often against Wright (career 4.68 FIP). Hitting in the highest-scoring lineup in baseball, Colabello could drive in multiple runs at his offense-inducing home venue.
Ryan Braun (Brewers): As a big leaguer, the outfielder has produced a game-changing 1.023 OPS against left-handers (.876 vs. righties). Braun could drive in multiple runs when he faces Rockies southpaw Jorge De La Rosa (career 4.61 ERA) at hitter-friendly Coors Field.
Jonathan Lucroy (Brewers): The catcher has long fared best vs. left-handers, against whom he has produced a lifetime .868 OPS (.739 vs. righties). Lucroy could provide production at a premium position when he faces De La Rosa, who has a 4.91 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP this season.
Aramis Ramirez (Brewers): Ramirez could be an integral part of a Brewers stack against De La Rosa, as the third baseman has produced a lifetime .896 OPS against left-handers in comparison to an .818 mark vs. righties. As a big leaguer, De La Rosa has allowed right-handed batters such as Ramirez to post a .793 OPS (.636 OPS allowed to lefty hitters).
Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies): Hitting .243 with nine homers and two steals across 244 plate appearances this season, the outfielder may have an economical price tag in DraftKings contests. Gonzalez could improve on his lifetime .910 OPS against right-handers and his career 1.004 OPS at Coors Field when he hits at home against Brewers righty Taylor Jungmann, who will be making his third Major League start.
DJ LeMahieu (Rockies): LeMahieu -- who is hitting .330 this season and owns balanced career splits -- could reach base often or score multiple runs from a premium lineup spot when he faces Jungmann. As a Minor Leaguer, the rookie righty posted unimpressive stats: a 4.10 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.
Ben Paulsen (Rockies) The first baseman -- who may be an economical portion of a Rockies stack -- could improve on his career .302/.353/.532 slash line against right-handers at the expense of Jungmann. Of note: Colorado ranks second in the Majors in OPS against righties (.770) and OPS at home (.815).
Anthony Rizzo (Cubs): Hitting .306 with 12 homers and 10 steals across 282 plate appearances this season, the first baseman has emerged as a fantasy star. With a career .846 OPS against right-handers (.750 vs. lefties), Rizzo could hit a homer against Twins fly-ball-prone righty Phil Hughes (career 1.2 HR/9 rate). Rizzo could also swipe a base against catcher Kurt Suzuki, who has allowed more steals than all but five catchers this season.
Miguel Montero (Cubs): The catcher has produced pronounced lifetime splits, with a .797 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .657 mark vs. lefties. Montero could drive in multiple runs against the right-handed Hughes, who has a 4.79 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP this season.
Sonny Gray (A's): With a 1.60 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP, the right-hander has emerged as a frontline ace this season. Gray could continue to dominate the competition when he works at his pitcher-friendly home park against an Angels lineup that ranks 21st in the Majors with a .685 OPS against right-handers.
Chris Sale (White Sox): The lefty ace -- who posted a 2.17 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP last season -- has produced a 79-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio across his past seven outings. He could post difference-making statistics when he faces a Rangers lineup with several key members who traditionally fare best against right-handers. Sale could also emerge victorious in a seemingly advantageous matchup with Colby Lewis (career 4.80 ERA).
Lance McCullers (Astros): The rookie has made a splash by registering a 2.00 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP across his initial six Major League starts. He could continue to compile quality frames when he plies his trade at pitcher-friendly Safeco Field against a Mariners lineup that ranks 29th in the Majors with a .664 OPS against right-handers. Of note: McCullers will work in front of an Astros defense that ranks fifth in baseball with a .708 defensive efficiency ratio.
Carlos Carrasco (Indians): DraftKings participants would be wise to ignore Carrasco's season-to-date 4.38 ERA and focus on his 2.63 FIP and 10.3 K/9 rate. With a recently improved infield defense behind him, he could compile quality innings when he faces a Rays lineup that ranks 22nd in the Majors with a .674 OPS against righties.
All statistics are accurate through the completion of Wednesday's games.