MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Sano, O's stars likely to provide some pop

Sano, O's stars likely to provide some pop

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 Thursday.

Miguel Sano (Twins): With nine homers across 134 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 Orioles fly-ball-prone righty Miguel Gonzalez (career 1.3 HR/9 rate) at homer-happy Camden Yards.

Lorenzo Cain (Royals): With 12 homers and 24 steals across 445 plate appearances this season, Cain possesses the diverse skill set that DraftKings participants covet. From the three-hole in the Royals' lineup, the outfielder could contribute in multiple ways when he brings his career .814 OPS against right-handers (.728 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Red Sox southpaw Wade Miley (4.58 ERA, 1.38 WHIP in 2015).

Cain's running catch

Alex Rios (Royals): Hitting .232 with two homers across 267 at-bats this season, Rios may be an economical outfield option in DraftKings contests when he puts his lifetime .788 OPS against left-handers (.742 vs. righties) on the line against Miley (career 1.33 WHIP). Rios could also excel late in the game against a Red Sox bullpen that ranks 23rd in baseball with a 4.20 ERA.

Chris Davis (Orioles): Hitting .323 with 15 homers across 96 at-bats since July 22, Davis is among the hottest hitters in baseball. The first baseman will be primed to display his power when he brings his lifetime .854 OPS against right-handers (.755 vs. lefties) into a contest at his hitter-friendly home park against Twins righty Tyler Duffey, who will be making his third career start.

Adam Jones (Orioles): The outfielder will be in position to improve on his lifetime .282/.318./.475 slash line against right-handers when he bats at his offense-inducing home park against Duffey (6.75 ERA, 1.63 WHIP). Jones could also thrive late in the game against a Twins relief corps that ranks 24th in the Majors with a 4.22 ERA.

Jones' solo shot

Dee Gordon (Marlins): The second baseman will bring his career .698 OPS against right-handers (.656 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Phillies righty Jerome Williams, who has struggled this season to the tune of a 5.47 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. Gordon could reach base often against Williams and swipe his 39th bag of the season against catcher Carlos Ruiz, who has thwarted 10 of 51 would-be base stealers in 2015.

Cesar Hernandez (Phillies): Hitting .318 with 30 runs scored and 15 steals across 218 plate appearances since June 19, the second baseman has been a cost-effective option in many recent DraftKings contests. From a premium lineup spot, Hernandez could reach base often when he brings his lifetime .737 OPS against left-handers (.656 vs. righties) into a matchup with Marlins southpaw Brad Hand (career 4.50 ERA, 1.38 WHIP).

Hernandez's RBI single

Paul Goldschmidt (D-backs): With a lifetime .333/.427/.612 slash line against left-handers, Goldschmidt has proven to be among the best in baseball during those matchups. The first baseman could be worth a major investment in DraftKings contests when he bats at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park against Reds rookie southpaw John Lamb, who will be making his second career start.

A.J. Pollock (D-backs): Having compiled 12 homers, 83 runs scored and 29 steals across 421 plate appearances this season, Pollock has been among the most versatile offensive contributors in baseball. The outfielder will be in position to succeed when he brings his career .843 OPS against left-handers (.776 vs. righties) into a matchup with Lamb at Cincinnati's offense-inducing venue.

Pollock's triple

Jayson Werth (Nationals): Hitting .190 with three homers across 168 at-bats this season, Werth could have an economical cost in DraftKings contests when he puts his lifetime .923 OPS against left-handers (.793 vs. righties) on the line in a matchup with southpaw Yohan Flande (career 4.79 ERA). Hitting at homer-happy Coors Field, the outfielder could also excel late in the game against a Rockies bullpen that sits last in baseball with a 4.98 ERA.

Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals): The first baseman has long fared best vs. left-handers, against whom he has a career .892 OPS (.795 vs. righties). Zimmerman could put a ball in the outfield seats at hitter-friendly Coors Field when he faces Flande (5.06 FIP, 1.27 WHIP in 2015).

Zimmerman's RBI single

Wilson Ramos (Nationals): The catcher could provide production at a premium position when he puts his lifetime .747 OPS against left-handers (.709 vs. righties) to the test against Flande. Also of note: Ramos and his teammates will attempt to put balls into play against a Rockies squad that ranks 28th in the Majors with a .673 defensive efficiency ratio.

Prince Fielder (Rangers): The first baseman has excelled against right-handers in his career, posting a .299/.410/.553 slash line in those matchups. On Thursday, Fielder could drive in multiple runs when he faces right-hander Alfredo Simon (4.84 ERA, 1.46 WHIP in 2015) and a Tigers bullpen that ranks 26th in baseball with a 4.23 ERA.

Rougned Odor (Rangers): Since being recalled on June 15, the second baseman has hit a robust .342. Odor could improve on his career .756 OPS against left-handers (.707 vs. righties) at the expense of Simon (lifetime 4.05 ERA, 1.33 WHIP).

Odor's solo shot to center

Jake Arrieta (Cubs): With a 2.39 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP this year, Arrieta has been a productive No. 1 starter in many DraftKings contests. The right-hander could log a strong start when he works at home against a Braves lineup that ranks 25th in the Majors with a .688 OPS against righties. Atlanta is last in baseball with 74 homers.

Chris Archer (Rays): With a 2.93 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP and a 10.9 K/9 rate, Archer has established himself as a fantasy ace in 2015. The right-hander could combine several strikeouts with quality innings when he faces an Astros lineup that ranks second in the Majors with 1,049 whiffs.

Jose Quintana (White Sox): With a 3.62 ERA across 154 frames, Quintana has been a serviceable second starter in DraftKings contests this year. The left-hander could thrive when he vacates his offense-inducing home park for pitcher-friendly Angel Stadium to face a Halos lineup that ranks 24th in the Majors with a .673 OPS against southpaws.

All statistics are accurate through the completion of Tuesday'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.