Pirates bats could excel against Reds
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 Saturday.
Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox): Hitting .316, the shortstop has been one of the most improved players at his premium position this season. From a prime lineup spot, Bogaerts could improve on his career .831 OPS against left-handers (.645 vs. righties) at the expense of Rays southpaw Matt Moore (lifetime 1.37 WHIP).
Hanley Ramirez (Red Sox): With a lofty lifetime .302/.382/.521 slash line against left-handers, Ramirez has proven to be among the best in baseball during those matchups. The outfielder could drive in multiple runs against Moore, who has posted a 7.61 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP across five starts since returning from Tommy John surgery.
Chris Young (Yankees): Young owns notable career splits, with an .845 OPS against left-handers in comparison to a .704 mark vs. righties. The outfielder will be in position to hit his 13th homer of the season or drive in multiple runs when he faces White Sox left-hander John Danks (4.97 ERA, 1.45 WHIP in 2015).
Alex Rodriguez (Yankees): Rodriguez may improve on his impressive career .288/.389/.552 slash line against left-handers at the expense of Danks. With 24 homers and 60 RBIs across 338 at-bats, the slugger has been among the most powerful players in the Junior Circuit this season. Of note: Rodriguez and his teammates will attempt to put balls into play against a White Sox squad that ranks 29th in baseball with a .670 defensive efficiency ratio.
Anthony Rizzo (Cubs): With 18 homers and 14 steals across 442 plate appearances, Rizzo has been a notable factor in many 2015 DraftKings contests. The first baseman -- who owns a lifetime .266/.359/.482 slash line against right-handers -- may display his power at hitter-friendly Miller Park when he faces righty Matt Garza (5.20 ERA, 1.55 WHIP in 2015).
Jhonny Peralta (Cardinals): Hitting .286 with 14 homers across 385 at-bats, the shortstop has been among the best players at his premium position this season. Peralta could thrive when he brings his lifetime .795 OPS against left-handers (.747 vs. righties) into a matchup with southpaw Jorge De La Rosa (career 4.63 ERA, 1.44 WHIP) and a Rockies bullpen that ranks 29th in the Majors with a 4.52 ERA.
Pedro Alvarez (Pirates): Having compiled 104 of his 119 career homers against right-handers, Alvarez will be primed to put a ball into the outfield seats when he bats at homer-happy Great American Ball Park against Reds rookie righty Raisel Iglesias (5.53 ERA in 2015).
Neil Walker (Pirates): As a big leaguer, the second baseman has handled right-handers to the tune of an .800 OPS (.661 vs. lefties). Walker will be in positon to reach base often when he faces the inexperienced Iglesias (1.48 WHIP) and a Reds bullpen that ranks 27th in baseball with a 4.29 ERA.
Gregory Polanco (Pirates):, With a career .719 OPS against right-handers (.476 vs. lefties), Polanco has the skills to reach base often against Iglesias and the Reds' relief corps. The outfielder also has the wheels to swipe his 18th base of the season against catcher Brayan Pena, who has thwarted six of 48 would-be base stealers this season.
Jason Kipnis (Indians): Hitting .332 with 66 runs scored across 459 plate appearances, the second baseman has been among the best leadoff hitters in baseball this season. Kipnis could improve on his lifetime .818 OPS against right-handers (.665 vs. lefties) when he faces A's righty Aaron Brooks. The right-handed hurler owns a 20.57 ERA across seven Major League innings after posting a career 4.21 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in the Minors.
Michael Brantley (Indians): Since the outset of last season, Brantley has registered a game-changing .326/.389/.515 slash line against right-handers. The outfielder could thrive against the inexperienced Brooks and an A's bullpen that ranks 26th in baseball with a 4.16 ERA. From the three-hole in the lineup, Brantley could be stacked with Kipnis in hopes that the former will drive in the latter on multiple occasions.
John Jaso (Rays): Since returning from the disabled list on July 7, Jaso has hit .296 while drawing regular work out of the leadoff spot. With catcher eligibility in DraftKings contests, he could provide production at a premium position when he puts his lifetime .794 OPS against right-handers (.514 vs. lefties) to the test against Red Sox righty Joe Kelly (5.94 ERA, 1.51 WHIP in 2015).
Melky Cabrera (White Sox): Hitting .426 with 14 RBIs across 54 at-bats since July 18, the outfielder may be the hottest hitter in baseball. Cabrera could continue to thrive when he bats at his hitter-friendly home park against a Yankees squad that will need to dig into their pitching depth to cover the absence of injured right-hander Michael Pineda.
Jacob deGrom (Mets): The right-hander ranks second among all starters with a season-to-date 2.05 ERA, and his 0.88 WHIP sits third. deGrom has the skills to succeed at home on Saturday against a Nationals lineup with multiple veterans who are finding their grooves after long layoffs due to injury.
Gerrit Cole (Pirates): Cole will bring an impressive season-to-date 14-4 record and 2.24 ERA into a seemingly advantageous matchup with Iglesias and the Reds. Without a single ace facing a below-average offense on the Saturday schedule, DraftKings participants may opt for the right-hander against a Cincinnati lineup that sits 14th in baseball with a .721 OPS vs. righties.
Lance Lynn (Cardinals): With a season-to-date 2.71 ERA and 9.6 K/9 rate, the right-hander can be considered as a No. 1 starter option by DraftKings participants. Lynn will be in position to thrive against a Rockies lineup that ranks 17th in the Majors with a .688 OPS on the road and will be without recently traded centerpiece Troy Tulowitzki.
Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers): Having compiled a 38-to-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio across his past three starts, Kershaw rivals teammate Zack Greinke as the hottest pitcher in baseball. The southpaw will be in position to post a game-changing points total in DraftKings contests when he works at his pitcher-friendly home park against an Angels lineup that will work without the designated hitter spot.