Rizzo, Schwarber, Haren could outshine Braves
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.
Anthony Rizzo (Cubs): Hitting .291 with 24 homers and 15 steals across 518 plate appearances this season, Rizzo has contributed to DraftKings squads in multiple ways. The first baseman could excel when he faces rookie righty Williams Perez (4.34 ERA, 1.50 WHIP) and a Braves bullpen that ranks 25th in baseball with a 4.28 ERA.
Kyle Schwarber (Cubs): Hitting .303 with 10 homers across 122 at-bats in his rookie season, Schwarber has already joined the top tier of fantasy catchers. He could post a difference-making total in DraftKings contests when he brings his 1.111 OPS against right-handers (.734 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Perez (4.92 FIP).
Joey Votto (Reds): The first baseman has used a patient, powerful approach to build an impressive career .316/.431/.547 slash line against right-handers. Batting at his hitter-friendly home park, Votto could drive in multiple runs at the expense of D-backs righty Randall Delgado (career 4.07 ERA, 1.30 WHIP).
Jay Bruce (Reds): The outfielder will be poised to rip a round-tripper when he bats at his homer-happy home park against Delgado, who will be coming out of the bullpen to make his first start of the season. In his career, Bruce -- who has hit 132 homers since the outset of 2011 -- has posted an .815 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .722 mark vs. lefties.
Cesar Hernandez (Phillies): Hitting .309 with 15 steals across 198 plate appearances since June 28, the second baseman has been a cost-effective option in many recent DraftKings contests. Hernandez could improve on his lifetime .724 OPS against left-handers (.656 vs. righties) when he faces Marlins rookie southpaw Justin Nicolino (4.24 ERA, 1.33 WHIP).
Yoenis Cespedes (Mets): With balanced career splits, the outfielder may thrive when he faces left-hander Chris Rusin (career 4.52 ERA, 1.49 WHIP) at homer-happy Coors Field. In his career, Rusin has allowed right-handed batters such as Cespedes to post an .831 OPS (.719 OPS allowed to lefty batters).
Michael Cuddyer (Mets): Cuddyer has long fared best vs. left-handers, against whom he has a lifetime .870 OPS (.777 vs. righties). The outfielder could excel at Colorado's hitter-friendly park against Rusin (career 4.52 ERA, 1.49 WHIP) and a Rockies bullpen that ranks last in baseball with a 5.01 ERA. Also of note: Cuddyer and his teammates will attempt to put balls into play against a Colorado squad that ranks 28th in the Majors with a .674 defensive efficiency ratio.
Nolan Arenado (Rockies): Arenado has traditionally done his best work against left-handers (career .850 OPS) and at his offense-inducing home park (lifetime .868 OPS). The third baseman could reach base often or hit his 30th homer of the season when he bats at home against Mets southpaw Jon Niese (career 1.35 WHIP).
Jose Abreu (White Sox): With a lifetime .310/.390/.552 slash line against left-handers, the first baseman has proven to wield a potent bat in those matchups. Abreu could rip a round-tripper when he faces Mariners southpaw Vidal Nuno (career 1.4 HR/9 rate).
Dee Gordon (Marlins): With a lifetime .702 OPS against right-handers (.658 vs. lefties), the second baseman could be poised to reach base often when he faces Phillies righty Aaron Harang (4.79 ERA, 1.38 WHIP in 2015). Gordon may also swipe his 41st bag of the season at the expense of catcher Carlos Ruiz, who has thrown out 10 of 52 would-be basestealers in 2015.
Chris Davis (Orioles): With 15 homers and 36 RBIs across 102 at-bats since July 22, the first baseman is one of the hottest hitters in baseball as he heads into a matchup at his hitter-friendly home park against Twins righty Kyle Gibson (lifetime 4.56 ERA, 1.37 WHIP). In his career, Davis has produced an .856 OPS against right-handers in comparison to a .755 mark vs. lefties.
Miguel Sano (Twins): With 10 homers across 141 at-bats, the rookie third baseman has been a difference-maker in many recent DraftKings contests. Sano could rip a round-tripper when he faces the Orioles' fly-ball-prone right-hander Chris Tillman (career 4.08 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 1.2 HR/9 rate) at homer-happy Camden Yards.
Eric Hosmer (Royals): As a big leaguer, the first baseman has handled right-handers to the tune of an .808 OPS (.685 vs. lefties). From the cleanup spot, Hosmer could reach base often or drive in multiple runs when he faces Red Sox rookie Matt Barnes (career 5.94 ERA, 1.76 WHIP). Also of note: Hosmer and his teammates will attempt to put balls into play against a Red Sox squad that ranks 27th in baseball with a .678 defensive efficiency ratio.
Dan Haren (Cubs): With a 3.63 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP, Haren has been a useful second starter in many 2015 DraftKings contests. The right-hander could fare well when he works at home against a Braves lineup that ranks 25th in baseball with a .684 OPS against righties. Additionally, the light-hitting Atlanta lineup ranks last in the Majors with 74 homers, which may help Haren -- who owns a 1.7 HR/9 rate this season -- keep the ball in the yard.
Zack Greinke (Dodgers): With a 1.58 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP, Greinke has been arguably the best starter in baseball this season. The right-hander could combine several strikeouts with dominant frames when he faces an Astros lineup that ranks second in the Majors with 1,079 whiffs.
Carlos Martinez (Cardinals): With a 12-5 record and a 2.59 ERA, Martinez has been among this season's breakout pitchers. The right-hander could continue to silence the opposition when he works at pitcher-friendly Petco Park against a Padres lineup that ranks 26th in baseball with a .684 OPS against righties.
Sonny Gray (A's): Having posted a season-to-date 2.04 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP, Gray has emerged as a frontline starter in DraftKings contests. The right-hander could continue to dominate the competition when he works at his pitcher-friendly home park against a Rays lineup that ranks 29th in baseball with a .677 OPS against righties.
All statistics are accurate through the completion of Thursday's games.