DraftKings picks: Tulowitzki, Abreu, etc.
Home runs could rule the day on Friday, as several fly-ball-prone starters will ply their trade in hitter-friendly venues. DraftKings participants should consider the following hitters -- who could capitalize on the aforementioned fact -- and pitchers, whom I believe will prove to be among the most successful on the slate.
Starlin Castro (Cubs): The stars are aligned for the shortstop -- who owns a career .778 OPS vs. left-handers compared with a .721 mark against righties -- to offer power to DraftKings participants when he faces southpaw Tyler Matzek at homer-friendly Coors Field.
Dexter Fowler (Cubs): The outfielder could score multiple runs out of the leadoff spot at hitter-friendly Coors Field, as his career .823 OPS vs. lefties such as Matzek is notably higher than his .768 mark against right-handers.
Wilin Rosario (Rockies): Rosario no longer plays regularly, but his career 1.009 OPS vs. lefties all but guarantees that he will receive starts against southpaws. On Friday, he could be a terrific candidate to homer against fly-ball-prone left-hander Travis Wood.
Nolan Arenado (Rockies): Arenado is off to a hot start this season, and his career .900 OPS against left-handers (.726 vs. righties) suggests that he could keep things rolling by providing extra-base power against Wood at Coors Field.
Drew Stubbs (Rockies): The outfielder owns pronounced career splits, with a .822 OPS vs. lefties opposed to a .666 mark against right-handers. With a chance to face a southpaw during his first start of 2015, Stubbs could be poised to tally a homer or a stolen base. From 2013-14, he was 37-for-42 on steal attempts.
Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies): Tulowitzki could be the last (but not least!) piece of a Rockies-laden DraftKings lineup on Friday. With a career .962 OPS against left-handers (.866 vs. righties), the shortstop has a chance to lead the productive Rockies offense on Friday, when Wood may struggle to limit long balls at Coors Field.
Jose Abreu (White Sox): The owner of a 1.097 OPS across 161 career plate appearances vs. lefties, Abreu appears to be in position to succeed vs. southpaw Tommy Milone. Set to tally at-bats at his hitter-friendly home park, the first baseman could belt a long ball off Minnesota's fly-ball-prone starter.
Alexei Ramirez (White Sox): Ramirez should be considered a quality shortstop option for Friday. His success vs. lefties -- against whom he owns a career .774 OPS -- and notable speed could portend good things for DraftKings participants.
Steve Pearce (Orioles): Pearce has been hitting in the top half of the O's order this season, and that should not change when he faces left-hander Mark Buehrle on Friday. After all, Pearce does his best work against southpaws, against whom he owns a lifetime .878 OPS (compared with a .707 mark vs. righties). DraftKings participants should not be shocked to see Pearce reach base multiple times in this contest, as Buehrle owns a 1.35 WHIP since the start of 2013 and will likely have to cede the mound to an underwhelming Toronto bullpen.
Delmon Young (Orioles): A part-time outfielder and designated hitter, Young could find his name on the lineup card against Buehrle due to his career .806 OPS vs. lefties. Young will likely be an inexpensive option for DraftKings participants, and he could smack a ball out of hitter-friendly Camden Yards.
Adrian Gonzalez (Dodgers): The first baseman arguably has been the Majors' hottest Opening Week hitter, and his career .913 OPS vs. right-handers (.771 against southpaws) suggests that he could continue the surge vs. righty Chase Anderson at hitter-friendly Chase Field.
Yasmani Grandal (Dodgers): Grandal has clubbed 19 of his 24 career homers against right-handers, and Arizona's Chase Anderson surrendered 16 long balls in 21 starts during his rookie season in 2014. Hitting at homer-happy Chase Field, the catcher could be an inexpensive source of power.
Kennys Vargas (Twins): The designated hitter clubbed eight of his nine homers against right-handers during his rookie campaign in 2014, and his career .890 OPS in those matchups exceeds his .604 mark vs. lefties. Facing fly-ball-prone Hector Noesi at cozy U.S. Cellular Field, Vargas is a strong candidate to go deep.
Oswaldo Arcia (Twins): Arcia has registered 28 of his 34 career homers off right-handers, making him another Twins slugger with a good chance to power one of Noesi's offerings into the outfield seats. The outfielder owns a lifetime .808 OPS vs. right-handers, which dwarfs his .606 mark against lefties.
Gio Gonzalez (Nationals): This high-strikeout hurler should have an excellent chance to top Jerome Williams and an underwhelming Phillies offense. Those who worry about Gonzalez at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park will be happy to know that he has gone 4-2 with a 2.47 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in eight career starts at that venue.
Dan Haren (Marlins): The right-hander should fare well against a light-hitting Rays lineup that will be without the use of a designated hitter. Tampa Bay is struggling to find rotation candidates due to early-season injuries to Alex Cobb and Drew Smyly, and it will not have one of its regular rotation members on the mound for this game.
Drew Pomeranz (A's): The left-handed Pomeranz broke through with a 2.35 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP and 64 K's in 69 innings last season, his first with Oakland. On Friday night at his pitcher-friendly home park, he could continue that success during what should amount to a pitchers' duel against Mariners youngster Taijuan Walker.
All statistics are accurate through the completion of Wednesday's games.