MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

CarGo in line to crush against Giants

CarGo in line to crush against Giants

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.

Michael Taylor (Nationals): The outfielder may excel when he brings his balanced career splits into a matchup with inexperienced righty Matt Wisler (5.31 FIP) and a Braves bullpen that ranks 29th in baseball with a 4.62 ERA. He may also swipe a base against A.J. Pierzynski, who has allowed more steals than all but three catchers in 2015.

Lorenzo Cain (Royals): With 12 homers and 26 steals across 499 plate appearances this season, the outfielder possesses the diverse skill set that DraftKings participants covet. From the three-hole in the lineup, Cain could thrive when he brings his career .804 OPS against left-handers (.728 vs. righties) into a matchup with Tigers rookie southpaw Matt Boyd (7.12 ERA, 1.64 WHIP).

Salvador Perez (Royals): The catcher has long fared best vs. left-handers, against whom he has produced a lifetime .771 OPS (.725 vs. righties). Perez could provide production at a premium position when he faces Boyd and a Tigers bullpen that ranks 28th in the Majors with a 4.60 ERA.

Alcides Escobar (Royals): From his perch atop the lineup, Escobar may be poised to reach base often or score multiple runs when he faces Boyd and a suspect Tigers relief corps. Hitting .260 with three homers and 14 steals across 552 plate appearances this season, the shortstop may be an economical addition at a premium position in DraftKings contests.

Ben Zobrist (Royals): The season, the outfielder has produced a .911 OPS against left-handers that exceeds his .796 mark vs. lefties. From the two-hole in the lineup, Zobrist could be part of a Royals stack -- with Cain, Perez and Escobar -- against Boyd.

Buster Posey (Giants): With a lifetime .327/.384/.560 line against left-handers, the catcher has proven to be among the best in baseball during those matchups. Posey could provide a game-changing total in DraftKings contests when he vacates his pitcher-friendly home park and faces Rockies southpaw Chris Rusin (career 4.96 ERA, 1.54 WHIP) at homer-happy Coors Field.

Nori Aoki (Giants): From his perch atop the lineup, Aoki may maximize his opportunities to reach base and score runs when he brings his career .777 OPS against left-handers (.724 vs. righties) into a matchup with Rusin (4.94 ERA, 1.61 WHIP in 2015). The outfielder may also excel late in the game against a Rockies relief corps that sits last in baseball with a 4.91 ERA.

Marlon Byrd (Giants): The outfielder will be primed to rip a round-tripper when he puts his lifetime .808 OPS against left-handers (.741 vs. righties) to the test against Rusin. In his career, Rusin has allowed right-handed hitters such as Byrd to post an .863 OPS (.713 OPS allowed to lefty batters). Also of note: Byrd and his teammates will attempt to put balls into play against a Rockies squad that sits 28th in the Majors with a .673 defensive efficiency ratio.

Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies): As a big leaguer, the outfielder has fared best when facing right-handers (.301/.366/.560 line) and when working at his hitter-friendly home park (.332/.393/.618 line). Gonzalez could drive in multiple runs when he hits at home against Giants righty Ryan Vogelsong (career 4.40 ERA, 1.40 WHIP).

Nick Hundley (Rockies): The catcher -- who has posted a .357/.394/.573 line at Coors Field this season -- has registered a lifetime .730 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .614 mark vs. lefties. Hitting at home, Hundley could be poised for a productive game when he faces Vogelsong (4.19 ERA, 1.43 WHIP in 2015).

Ben Paulsen (Rockies): Having settled into a platoon role, Paulsen has produced an .843 OPS against right-handers this season in comparison to a .526 mark vs. lefties. The first baseman could be a cost-effective option in DraftKings contests when he bats at his hitter-friendly home park against Vogelsong.

Adrian Gonzalez (Dodgers): With a lofty lifetime .300/.375/.530 slash line against right-handers, the first baseman will be poised to drive in multiple runs when he faces Padres rookie righty Colin Rea. Rea has posted a 5.95 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP across his first four Major League starts.

Andre Ethier (Dodgers): The outfielder has produced notable career splits, with an .889 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .639 mark vs. lefties. Ethier may drive in multiple runs when he faces the inexperienced Rea and a Padres relief corps that ranks 22nd in the Majors with a 3.95 ERA.

Francisco Liriano (Pirates): With a season-to-date 3.28 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP, Liriano has been arguably the most effective starter of any hurler on the light Thursday docket. The left-hander could spin a gem when he faces a Brewers lineup that ranks 29th in the Majors with a .654 OPS against southpaws.

Jordan Zimmermann (Nationals): Zimmermann could improve on his season-to-date 3.45 ERA and 1.22 WHIP when he works at his pitcher-friendly home park against the Braves. Atlanta's lineup sits 28th in the Majors with a .681 OPS against righties and last in baseball with 83 homers.

Mat Latos (Dodgers): With a 4.76 ERA, the right-hander could have an economical price tag in DraftKings contests when he travels to pitcher-friendly Petco Park to face a Padres lineup that sits 26th in the Majors with a .690 OPS against righties. Latos may come away with a win if his supporting cast can have success against Rea.

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.