MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Papi, Stanton, Altuve set to lead big bats

deGrom, Hendricks could join trio as day's top picks from mound

Papi, Stanton, Altuve set to lead big bats

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.

Didi Gregorius: With pronounced career splits that include a .722 OPS against right-handers and a .556 mark vs. lefties, the shortstop could deliver cost-effective production at a premium position when he faces righty Kevin Gausman (career 4.15 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) at hitter-friendly Camden Yards.

David Ortiz: In his illustrious career, Ortiz has produced a .976 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .813 mark vs. lefties. The slugger could display his power when he faces White Sox right-hander Erik Johnson (career 4.17 ERA, 1.55 WHIP) at hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field.

Buy-low candidates

Travis Shaw: Shaw will be in perfect position to improve his lifetime .281/.358/.479 slash line against right-handers when he tangles with the righty Johnson at Chicago's homer-happy venue. In his career, Johnson has allowed left-handed hitters such as Shaw to post a .973 OPS (.639 OPS allowed to righty batters).

Dioner Navarro: Set to serve as Chicago's No. 1 backstop while Alex Avila is on the disabled list, Navarro could excel in a matchup at his hitter-friendly home park against Red Sox southpaw Henry Owens (career 4.60 ERA, 1.44 WHIP). In his career, Navarro has logged a .767 OPS against left-handers that exceeds his .657 mark vs. righties.

Todd Frazier: As a big leaguer, the third baseman has registered a .261/.323/.501 slash line against left-handers. From the heart of the White Sox lineup, Frazier could drive in multiple runs when he bats at his hitter-friendly home park against the inexperienced southpaw Owens (72 1/3 career innings).

Buster Posey: With a lifetime .329/.387/.562 slash line against left-handers, Posey has proven to be among the best in baseball during those matchups. The catcher could provide great production at a premium position when he faces Rockies southpaw Chris Rusin (career 4.95 ERA, 1.49 WHIP).

Top April fantasy performers

Hunter Pence: With a lifetime .842 OPS against left-handers that exceeds his .801 mark vs. righties, Pence will be primed to excel against the southpaw Rusin (career 4.60 FIP). The outfielder could also produce late in the game against a Rockies relief corps that ranks 29th in the Majors with a 5.04 ERA.

Matt Duffy: The third baseman could make improvements on his lifetime .274/.328/.349 slash line against left-handers at the expense of Rusin and a suspect Rockies bullpen. In his career, Rusin has allowed right-handed hitters such as Duffy to post an .852 OPS (.713 OPS allowed to lefty batters).

Giancarlo Stanton: With a lifetime .289/.383/.616 slash line against left-handers, Stanton has proven to wield a potent bat in those matchups. From the cleanup spot in a Marlins lineup that ranks fifth in baseball with an .810 OPS against southpaws, the outfielder could drive in multiple runs against D-backs lefty Robbie Ray (career 4.46 ERA, 1.47 WHIP).

Carlos Gonzalez: The outfielder has long fared best vs. right-handers, against whom he has posted a lifetime .934 OPS (.740 vs. lefties). Even though he will bat away from his hitter-friendly home park, Gonzalez could have a great game at the expense of Giants righty Matt Cain, who has logged a 6.16 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP since the outset of 2015. Also of note: Gonzalez will put balls into play against a Giants squad that ranks 27th in the Majors with a .664 defensive efficiency ratio.

Jose Altuve: Hitting .292 with seven homers and 10 steals across 123 plate appearances, Altuve has been arguably the most productive offensive force in baseball this season. The second baseman could post a difference-making total in DraftKings contests when he brings his lofty lifetime .353/.399/.501 slash line against left-handers into a matchup with Mariners southpaw Wade Miley (career 3.99 ERA, 1.33 WHIP).

Chris Carter: With balanced batting splits and 99 homers since the outset of 2013, the first baseman is a prime candidate to go deep when he bats at homer-happy Great American Ball Park against Alfredo Simon (career 4.34 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) and a Reds relief corps that ranks last in baseball with a 6.52 ERA.

Carter's second homer

Curtis Granderson: Hitting out of the leadoff spot, Granderson could maximize his chances to reach base and score runs when he takes his lifetime .859 OPS against right-handers (.696 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Padres righty Colin Rea (career 4.42 ERA, 1.41 WHIP). The outfielder could also swipe a base against catcher Derek Norris, who sometimes struggles to thwart would-be basestealers.

Neil Walker: The second baseman has long fared best vs. right-handers, against whom he owns a lifetime .801 OPS (.673 vs. lefties). Walker -- who has hit nine homers across 98 at-bats this season -- could thrive against the righty Rea and a Padres bullpen that ranks 28th in the Majors with a 4.99 ERA. Also of note: San Diego fielders rank 25th in baseball with a .676 defensive efficiency ratio.

Josh Donaldson: Since joining the Blue Jays at the outset of 2015, the third baseman has posted a .319/.417/.688 slash line against left-handers and a .332/.401/.651 slash line at Rogers Centre. Donaldson may be worth a massive investment in DraftKings contests when he bats at his offense-inducing home park against Rangers southpaw Derek Holland (career 4.22 ERA, 1.31 WHIP).

Jacob deGrom: With a lifetime 2.53 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP, the right-hander has the skills to spin a gem when he works at pitcher-friendly Petco Park against a Padres lineup that ranks 29th in the Majors with a .631 OPS against righties. deGrom could also pick up a win if his supporting cast can have success against Rea (career 4.09 FIP).

deGrom's solid start

Kyle Hendricks: The right-hander will be poised for success when he brings his lifetime 3.49 ERA and 1.13 WHIP into a matchup with a Nationals lineup that ranks 21st in baseball with a .684 OPS against righties. Hendricks may also benefit from working in front of a Cubs squad that leads the Majors with a .742 defensive efficiency ratio.

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.