MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

DraftKings picks: Howard, Fielder, Choo

DraftKings picks: Howard, Fielder, Choo

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 Friday.

Ryan Howard (Phillies): With 10 homers and a .256 batting average across 160 at-bats, the first baseman has enjoyed a resurgence this season. Howard will bring his career .951 OPS against right-handers (.730 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Rockies righty Chad Bettis (career 6.29 ERA, 1.74 WHIP) at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.

Prince Fielder (Rangers): The first baseman -- who has hit .368 with 10 homers this season -- has handled right-handers to the tune of a career .297/.409/.557 slash line. Fielder could reach base often against Red Sox righty Steven Wright, who has compiled just 56 1/3 Major League innings.

Shin-Soo Choo (Rangers): Choo has accumulated notable career splits, with a .905 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .674 mark vs. lefties. The outfielder -- who has posted a lifetime .381 on-base percentage -- could reach often against Wright (career 1.33 WHIP).

Pablo Sandoval (Red Sox): With a lifetime .305/.359/.494 slash line against righties, the third baseman could be in position to thrive at a hitter-friendly road venue against Rangers righty Yovani Gallardo (career 1.30 WHIP).

Jose Altuve (Astros): With a lifetime .881 OPS against lefty hurlers (.695 vs. righties), the second baseman could reach base often against White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon, the owner of a 1.84 WHIP in his young career. And if he were to find his way to first base, Altuve -- who has swiped 71 bags since the outset of the 2014 season -- would be a candidate to steal.

Evan Gattis (Astros): A possible difference-making catcher option, Gattis has accumulated 10 homers and 30 RBIs across 165 at-bats this season. The 28-year-old -- who has compiled a lifetime .502 slugging percentage vs. lefties -- could drive in multiple runs against Rodon (4.03 ERA).

Rajai Davis (Tigers): Davis has compiled pronounced career splits, with an .808 OPS against lefties in comparison to a .646 mark vs. right-handers. With southpaw Hector Santiago (career 1.34 WHIP) on the mound against Detroit, the Tigers outfielder could score multiple runs. Moreover, he could swipe a bag against catcher Chris Iannetta, who struggles to thwart would-be basestealers.

Ian Kinsler (Tigers): The second baseman -- who has recorded a lifetime .877 OPS against left-handers, as opposed to a .760 mark vs. righties -- could be part of a Tigers stack vs. Santiago. Several Tigers have typically done their best work against southpaws, and the club ranks second in the Majors with a .794 OPS in those matchups this season, so Detroit's lineup could put together a strong offensive performance against Santiago.

Brian Dozier (Twins): With nine homers and 37 runs scored across 178 at-bats, the second baseman has helped DraftKings participants on a number of occasions this season. On Friday, Dozier could spark the Twins lineup when he seeks to increase his lifetime .859 OPS against left-handers (.677 vs. righties) at the expense of Blue Jays southpaw Mark Buehrle (5.13 ERA, 1.51 WHIP in 2015).

Trevor Plouffe (Twins): DraftKings participants could stack Dozier with Plouffe in hopes that the latter can drive in the former on multiple occasions. The third baseman has registered a lifetime .835 OPS against left-handers (.691 vs. righties), and Buehrle has produced a 1.37 WHIP since joining the Blue Jays at the outset of the 2013 season.

Billy Butler (A's): The slugger could excel against Yankees lefty Chris Capuano, who has posted a 4.41 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP since the outset of the 2013 season. Butler has accumulated notable lifetime splits, with a .910 OPS against lefties in comparison to a .765 mark vs. right-handers, while Capuano in his career has allowed righty hitters such as Butler to compile an .800 OPS (.651 OPS allowed to lefty hitters).

Jason Kipnis (Indians): Kipnis could spark the Indians offense by reaching base often and scoring multiple runs when he takes his career .805 OPS against right-handers (.665 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Mariners righty Taijuan Walker (7.33 ERA, 1.84 WHIP in 2015).

Michael Brantley (Indians): Since the outset of his 2014 breakout season, the outfielder has registered a game-changing .331/.389/.523 slash line against right-handers. He could be part of an Indians stack -- joining Kipnis and Brandon Moss -- against the struggling Walker.

Matt Harvey (Mets): After allowing seven runs during his most recent start, the dominant right-hander could return to top form when he faces a Marlins lineup that ranks 27th in the Majors with a .665 OPS against right-handers.

Dan Haren (Marlins): DraftKings participants who do not select Harvey could opt for his mound opponent on Friday. Haren -- who has compiled a 3.09 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP this season -- could be a serviceable second starter when he works at a pitcher-friendly road venue against a Mets lineup that ranks 28th in the Majors with a .644 OPS against right-handers.

Trevor Bauer (Indians): Bauer has allowed three runs across 22 1/3 innings during his past three starts, which has helped improve his season-to-date stats (3.02 ERA, 1.16 WHIP). The high-strikeout hurler could accumulate whiffs and quality frames at spacious Safeco Field, with a victory also well within reach if Cleveland's lineup can score several runs against the struggling Walker.

Sonny Gray (A's): Having registered a 1.77 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP this season, the righty could continue to accumulate difference-making numbers when he faces the Yankees at his spacious home park. Gray could receive a win for a quality effort during this seemingly advantageous matchup against Capuano.

All statistics are accurate through the completion of Wednesday's games.

Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.