MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Pirates projected to excel on offense vs. Reds

Pirates projected to excel on offense vs. 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 Monday.

Alex Rodriguez (Yankees): As a big leaguer, the slugger has posted an impressive .288/.389/.550 slash line against left-handers. Rodriguez could put a ball into the outfield at his homer-happy home park when he faces Orioles southpaw Wei-Yin Chen (4.37 FIP in 2015).

Jayson Werth (Nationals): Hitting .224 this season, the outfielder could have a reduced price tag in DraftKings contests when he faces Mets southpaw Jon Niese (career 1.36 WHIP). Werth has posted a career .926 OPS against left-handers that exceeds his .794 mark vs. righties.

Anthony Rendon (Nationals): In his career, Rendon has handled left-handers to the tune of an .820 OPS (.758 vs. righties). Hitting .267 with three homers across 210 at-bats this season, the third baseman could have an economical price tag in DraftKings contests for a matchup with the left-handed Niese (4.17 ERA, 1.37 WHIP in 2015).

Rendon's solo homer

Freddie Freeman (Braves): The first baseman has long fared best vs. right-handers, against whom he has registered a lifetime .883 OPS (.732 vs. lefties). Freeman will be in position to excel when he vacates his pitcher-friendly home venue and hits at homer-happy Citizens Bank Park against Phillies righty Aaron Harang (4.89 ERA, 1.38 WHIP in 2015). Also of note: Freeman and his teammates will attempt to put balls into play against a Phillies squad that ranks last in the Majors with a .683 defensive efficiency ratio.

Pedro Alvarez (Pirates): Having compiled 109 of his 126 career homers against right-handers, Alvarez will be primed to rip a round-tripper when he bats at homer-happy Great American Ball Park against righty Anthony DeSclafani (career 4.29 ERA, 1.35 WHIP).

Neil Walker (Pirates): The second baseman may provide production at a premium position when he puts his lifetime .799 OPS against right-handers (.659 vs. lefties) on the line against DeSclafani (1.35 WHIP in 2015).

Alvarez's RBI single

Gregory Polanco (Pirates): The outfielder has produced pronounced career splits, with a .735 OPS against right-handers in comparison to a .523 mark vs. lefties. Polanco has the plate skills to reach base often against DeSclafani, and he has the speed to swipe his 24th bag of the season against catcher Brayan Pena, who has thwarted 12 of 67 would-be base stealers in 2015.

Brandon Phillips (Reds): The second baseman will be poised to improve on his lifetime .800 OPS against left-handers (.720 vs. righties) when he bats at his hitter-friendly home park against Pirates southpaw Jeff Locke (career 4.19 ERA, 1.39 WHIP). Also of note: Phillips and his teammates will attempt to put balls into play against a Pirates squad that ranks 23rd in the Majors with a .698 defensive efficiency ratio.

Jose Bautista (Blue Jays): Since the outset of the 2010 season, the outfielder has used a patient, powerful approach to build a .267/.388/.555 slash line against right-handers. Bautista could be part of a productive lineup against righty Rick Porcello (career 4.40 ERA, 1.36 WHIP). Also of note: Bautista and his teammates will attempt to put balls into play against a Red Sox squad that ranks 26th in the Majors with a .693 defensive efficiency ratio.

Bautista's two-run homer

Evan Longoria (Rays): The third baseman has long fared best vs. left-handers, against whom he has produced a .921 OPS (.802 vs. righties). Longoria could drive in multiple runs when he faces Tigers southpaw Randy Wolf, who has posted a 5.64 ERA since the outset of the 2012 season. He may also excel late in the game against a Tigers bullpen that sits 29th in the Majors with a 4.73 ERA.

Logan Forsythe (Rays): With 15 homers, 60 runs scored and nine steals across 531 plate appearances this season, Forsythe has been a cost-effective second baseman in many 2015 DraftKings contests. He could improve on his lifetime .830 OPS against left-handers (.636 vs. righties) when he faces Wolf (career 4.22 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) and a suspect Tigers bullpen.

Jason Heyward (Cardinals): The outfielder has posted notable splits in his career, with a .834 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .658 mark vs. lefties. Heyward -- who hit .287 with 11 homers and 20 steals across 511 plate appearances this season -- could produce in multiple ways when he faces Cubs righty Dan Haren (4.92 FIP, 1.7 HR/9 rate in 2015).

Matt Carpenter (Cardinals): From his premium lineup spot, Carpenter may maximize his opportunities to produce against the struggling Haren. In his career, the third baseman has registered an .840 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .761 mark vs. lefties.

Max Scherzer (Nationals): With a season-to-date 2.89 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP, the right-hander has been a major factor in many 2015 DraftKings contests. Scherzer could continue to excel when he works at home against a Mets lineup that sits 24th in the Majors with a .703 OPS against righties.

Scherzer's 10-strikeout game

Yordano Ventura (Royals): After an inconsistent start to the season, the right-hander has logged a 1.13 ERA across his past five outings. Ventura could stay hot when he works at his pitcher-friendly home park against a Twins lineup that ranks 25th in baseball with a .693 OPS against righties. Once he leaves the game, Ventura's quest for a win may be supported by a Royals relief corps that ranks second in the Majors with a 2.48 ERA.

Justin Nicolino (Marlins) With a 3.07 ERA across his first seven Major League starts, Nicolino could be a cost-effective second starter when he works at his pitcher-friendly home park against a Brewers lineup that sits 26th in the Majors with a .673 OPS against southpaws.

All statistics are accurate through the completion of Saturday'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.