Rangers stack could be the play against Nova
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The players listed below could provide difference-making stats for DraftKings participants today.
J.J. Hardy (Orioles): With 92 homers since the outset of the 2011 season, the shortstop is among the most powerful players at his position. He could improve on his lifetime .767 OPS against left-handers (.714 vs. righties) when he bats at his hitter-friendly home park against Braves southpaw Alex Wood (1.46 WHIP in 2015).
Prince Fielder (Rangers): The first baseman -- who is hitting .337 this season -- will be in position to improve on his career .964 OPS against right-handers (.803 vs. lefties) when he hits at home against Yankees righty Ivan Nova. Of note: The hurler has posted a 4.79 FIP across five starts since returning from Tommy John surgery.
Rougned Odor (Rangers): Since rejoining the Rangers lineup on June 15, the second baseman has hit .365 with 18 extra-base hits (five homers) and four steals across 129 plate appearances. He could continue to excel when he brings his lifetime .766 OPS against right-handers (.675 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Nova (career 1.39 WHIP).
Shin-Soo Choo (Rangers): The outfielder has long fared best vs. right-handers, against whom he has posted a lifetime .902 OPS (.662 vs. lefties). Set to face the right-handed Nova, Choo could join Fielder, Odor, outfielder Leonys Martin or first baseman Mitch Moreland in a Rangers stack.
Jason Heyward (Cardinals): The outfielder -- who is hitting .328 since June 17 -- may improve on his career .829 OPS against right-handers (.661 vs. lefties) when he faces Reds rookie righty Raisel Iglesias (5.45 ERA, 1.56 WHIP).
Kolten Wong (Cardinals): With 10 homers and 11 steals across 392 plate appearances, the second baseman has been a factor in his share of 2015 DraftKings contests. From a likely perch atop the lineup, Wong could reach base several times vs. the inexperienced Iglesias and a Reds bullpen that ranks 27th in the Majors with a 4.12 ERA. He could also swipe a base against catcher Brayan Pena, who has thrown out six of 48 would-be basestealers this season.
Nelson Cruz (Mariners): In his career, Cruz has excelled against left-handers to the tune of a .911 OPS (.814 vs. right-handers). And with 64 homers since the outset of last season, the slugger has the power to drive in multiple runs when he faces D-backs southpaw Robbie Ray (lifetime 4.48 ERA, 1.37 WHIP).
Mark Teixeira (Yankees): As a big leaguer, the first baseman has produced an impressive .292/.386/.524 slash line against left-handers. On Monday, the powerful Teixeira could put a ball into the outfield seats or drive in multiple runs when he bats at hitter-friendly Globe Life Park in Arlington against southpaw Matt Harrison (career 4.17 ERA, 1.40 WHIP).
Brett Gardner (Yankees): With 27 homers and 36 steals since the outset of last season, Gardner has proven capable of contributing to DraftKings squads in multiple ways. The outfielder -- who owns balanced career splits -- could thrive against Harrison and a Rangers relief corps that ranks 29th in the Majors with a 4.40 ERA.
Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox): The shortstop -- who owns a lifetime .828 OPS against left-handers in comparison to a .644 mark vs. righties -- could provide production at a premium position when he faces White Sox southpaw John Danks (4.66 ERA, 1.42 WHIP in 2015). Of note: Bogaerts and his teammates will attempt to put balls into play against a White Sox unit that ranks 29th in the Majors with a .671 defensive efficiency ratio.
Matt Duffy (Giants): Hitting .299 with eight homers and 43 RBIs across 301 at-bats, Duffy has been a cost-effective option at the hot corner in several 2015 DraftKings contests. The third baseman could drive in multiple runs when he faces Brewers right-hander Kyle Lohse, who has struggled this season to the tune of a 6.29 ERA.
Brandon Belt (Giants): Having hit 43 of his 55 career homers against right-handers, Belt is in prime position to put one of Lohse's offerings into the outfield seats. The right-handed hurler owns a lifetime 1.1 HR/9 rate that factors in a 1.8 mark this season.
Anibal Sanchez (Tigers): With Sanchez set to face the Rays at pitcher-friendly Tropicana Field, DraftKings participants would be wise to look past his season-to-date 4.59 ERA and focus on his 1.23 WHIP and 7.9 K/9 rate. The right-hander could spin several quality innings against a Tampa Bay lineup that ranks 29th in the Majors with a .656 OPS against righties.
Kevin Gausman (Orioles): With a season-to-date 5.18 ERA, the right-hander should be considered as a cost-effective second starter for his matchup against an Atlanta lineup that ranks last in baseball with 58 homers.
Kyle Hendricks (Cubs): In his career consisting of 191 innings, Hendricks has used impressive control to post a 3.16 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. On Monday, the right-hander could have success when he pitches at home against a Rockies lineup that is tied for 23rd in the Majors with a .671 OPS on the road. In doing so, Hendricks may come away with a win in a seemingly advantageous matchup vs. Jorge De La Rosa (career 4.60 ERA).
Lance Lynn (Cardinals): Lynn will bring a season-to-date 2.80 ERA into a seemingly advantageous home matchup against Iglesias and the Reds. With 119 strikeouts across 109 1/3 innings this season, the right-hander has the necessary skills to combine a handful of whiffs with quality frames. Once Lynn leaves the game, his quest for a win may be helped by a St. Louis bullpen that ranks second in the Majors with a 2.34 ERA.
All statistics are accurate through the completion of Saturday's games.
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB.