DraftKings picks: Encarnacion, Bautista could homer
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 Sunday.
Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays): Since the outset of the 2012 season, the first baseman has registered a powerful .264/.352/.539 slash line vs. right-handers. Encarnacion could rip a round-tripper at homer-happy Rogers Centre when he takes on Orioles righty Chris Tillman (career 4.54 FIP, 1.2 HR/9 rate).
Jose Bautista (Blue Jays): With a .268/.391/.555 slash line against right-handers since the start of 2010 and a .283/.411/.592 slash line at Rogers Centre across that stretch, the outfielder is another candidate to take Tillman deep.
Jason Kipnis (Indians): Hitting .335 with 45 runs scored in 261 at-bats, the second baseman has been a difference-maker during several 2015 DraftKings contests. Kipnis could continue to rake when he brings his lifetime .810 OPS against right-handers (.668 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Rays righty Alex Colome (career 1.44 WHIP).
Dee Gordon (Marlins): The second baseman -- who has hit .310 with 86 steals since the outset of last season -- could reach base often against Reds rookie righty Michael Lorenzen (5.89 FIP, 1.44 WHIP). Once on base, Gordon may run against catcher Brayan Pena, who has thrown out five of 29 base stealers this season.
Christian Yelich (Marlins): Yelich has registered notable lifetime splits, with a .768 OPS against right-handers in comparison to a .665 mark vs. lefties. The outfielder could reach base often or score multiple runs against the inexperienced Lorenzen, who made just three Triple-A appearances before arriving to the Majors.
Matt Carpenter (Cardinals): Carpenter could be in position to reach base often and score multiple runs from his premium lineup position against the Phillies on Sunday. Philadelphia will have to dip into its overtaxed pitching depth in order to cover for the absence of starter Jerome Williams. Adam Morgan will be making his Major League debut after posting a 4.74 ERA in 13 starts at Triple-A this season. He may struggle to compile quality innings against a veteran St. Louis lineup.
Ryan Braun (Brewers): As a big leaguer, Braun has registered a game-changing 1.026 OPS against left-handers (.874 vs. righties). The powerful outfielder could rip his 15th round-tripper of the season when he hits at homer-happy Coors Field against Rockies southpaw Chris Rusin (5.14 ERA, 1.64 WHIP in 2015).
Aramis Ramirez (Brewers): With a career .898 OPS against left-handers (.818 vs. righties), Ramirez could drive in multiple runs when he faces Rusin (career 5.00 ERA) at an offense-inducing venue. In his career, Rusin has allowed right-handed hitters such Milwaukee's third baseman to register an .867 OPS (.640 OPS allowed to lefty batters).
Jonathan Lucroy (Brewers): Lucroy could be part of a Brewers barrage when he puts his lifetime .868 OPS against left-handers (.739 vs. righties) on the line against Rusin (career 1.51 WHIP). Of note: the catcher will hit into a Rockies defense that ranks 24th in the Majors with a .674 defensive efficiency ratio.
Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies): In Colorado, the outfielder could improve upon his impressive career .910 OPS against right-handers (.758 vs. lefties) at the expense of Brewers righty Matt Garza (5.07 ERA, 1.48 WHIP in 2015). As a big leaguer, Gonzalez has enjoyed his greatest success at his hitter-friendly home park, where he has registered a 1.003 OPS.
Michael Wacha (Cardinals): Despite a mediocre strikeout rate, the right-hander has emerged as a fantasy ace this season by virtue of a 9-2 record, a 2.48 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Wacha could continue to accumulate dominant frames when he faces a Phillies lineup that ranks last in the Majors in runs scored (210) and OPS vs. righties (.621).
Jake Arrieta (Cubs): With a 2.98 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP since joining the Cubs during the 2013 season, Arrieta has established himself as a fantasy ace. The right-hander may continue to dominate the competition when he plies his trade at pitcher-friendly Target Field against a Twins lineup that ranks 23rd in the Majors with a .677 OPS against righties.
Matt Harvey (Mets): Harvey -- who owns a 2.64 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP in his career -- got his 2015 season back on track by tossing seven shutout innings against a potent Blue Jays lineup on June 16. The right-hander has struggled with the long ball at times this season, but he could thrive at pitcher-friendly Turner Field against a Braves lineup that ranks 29th in the Majors with 41 homers.
Chris Young (Royals): An extreme fly-ball pitcher, Young could have the pitcher-friendly backdrop he needs when he works at Kauffman Stadium against a visiting Red Sox lineup that ranks 25th in the Majors with a .645 OPS on the road. The right-hander -- who has a 1.98 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP this season -- could come away with a win if his teammates can have success against Miley.
All statistics are accurate through the completion of Friday's games.
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB.