MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Kipnis, Sale poised to shine on Thursday

A-Gone, McCann, Shark could join pair as slate's top stars

Kipnis, Sale poised to shine on Thursday

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.

Jason Kipnis:   Hitting out of a premium lineup spot, the second baseman could reach base often or score multiple runs when he brings his lifetime .814 OPS against right-handers (.655 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Reds rookie righty Tim Adleman (4.69 FIP, 1.38 WHIP). Kipnis could also thrive late in the game against a Reds relief corps that ranks last in baseball with a 6.46 ERA.

Kipnis' solo homer to right

Michael Saunders: With a lifetime .715 OPS against right-handers (.658 vs. lefties), the outfielder could thrive in a matchup with Twins righty Ervin Santana (career 4.15 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 1.2 HR/9 rate). Also working in Saunders' favor: Minnesota ranks last in the Majors with a .664 defensive efficiency ratio.

Gregory Polanco: The outfielder has produced notable career splits, with a .773 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .538 mark vs. lefties. Polanco has the plate skills to thrive against Braves righty Mike Foltynewicz (career 5.23 ERA, 1.56 WHIP) and the speed to swipe a base against A.J. Pierzynski, who has allowed more steals than all but three catchers this season.

John Jaso: Hitting leadoff, the first baseman -- who owns a lifetime .361 on-base percentage -- may maximize his opportunities to reach base and score runs at the expense of Foltynewicz (4.58 FIP in 2016) and a Braves bullpen that ranks 27th in the Majors with a 4.74 ERA.

Denard Span: From his perch atop the lineup, Span could reach base often or score multiple runs at the expense of righty James Shields (4.31 FIP, 1.31 WHIP in 2016) and a Padres bullpen that ranks 24th in the Majors with a 4.32 ERA. The outfielder could also swipe a base against catcher Derek Norris, who sometimes struggles to thwart would-be base stealers.

Joc Pederson: With a lifetime .810 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .651 mark vs. lefties, the outfielder could have a great game when he faces Angels righty Jhoulys Chacin (career 4.07 FIP, 1.33 WHIP). In his career, Pederson has homered 27 times across 478 at-bats against righties.

Pederson's two home runs

Corey Seager: Since debuting on Sept. 3, 2015, Seager has posted an impressive .306/.372/.512 slash line against right-handers. The shortstop could go deep or score multiple runs against the righty Chacin, who in his career has allowed left-handed hitters such as Seager to post a .762 OPS (.662 OPS allowed to righty batters).

Adrian Gonzalez: The first baseman has traditionally excelled vs. right-handers, against whom he has posted a lifetime .899 OPS (.770 vs. lefties). From the heart of the Dodgers lineup, Gonzalez could produce a notable total in DraftKings contests when he tangles with the righty Chacin (4.81 ERA in 2016).

Adam Eaton: Hitting leadoff, Eaton may maximize his opportunities to reach base and score runs at the expense of Astros right-hander Collin McHugh (5.58 ERA, 1.71 WHIP in 2016). He could also swipe a base against catcher Jason Castro, who has thwarted three of 18 would-be base stealers in 2016.

Matt Carpenter: With 36 homers since the outset of 2015 and a lifetime .375 on-base percentage, the third baseman could display his power or collect multiple hits when he bats leadoff against righty Jon Gray (career 5.19 ERA, 1.43 WHIP). Carpenter could also excel late in the game against a Rockies relief corps that ranks 25th in the Majors with a 4.43 ERA.

Brandon Moss: With seven homers, 19 RBIs and 22 runs across 115 plate appearances, the first baseman has been a cost-effective option in many 2016 DraftKings contests. Moss could have great success when he brings his lifetime .788 OPS against right-handers (.712 vs. lefties) into a matchup with the righty Gray and an unreliable Rockies bullpen.

Brian McCann: With 31 homers since the outset of 2015, the catcher is arguably the most powerful player at his premium position. McCann could rip a round-tripper or drive in multiple runs when he brings his lifetime .825 OPS against right-handers (.751 vs. lefties) into a matchup with A's righty Kendall Graveman (4.46 ERA, 1.42 WHIP in 2016).

McCann's solo dinger

Chris Sale: Sitting at 8-0 with a 1.67 ERA and a 0.76 WHIP, the left-hander has been arguably the most dominant starter in the American League this season. Sale could post a game-changing total in DraftKings contests when he brings his lifetime 10.2 K/9 rate into a matchup with an Astros squad that leads the Majors with 398 whiffs.

Josh Tomlin: Since the outset of 2015, the right-hander has posted a 3.30 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP across 16 starts. On Thursday, Tomlin could compile six-plus effective innings when he tangles with a Reds lineup that ranks 27th in the Majors with a .676 OPS against righties.

Jeff Samardzija: With a 2.88 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP this season, Samardzija has bounced back from a disappointing 2015 campaign. The right-hander could continue to compile outstanding results when he works at pitcher-friendly Petco Park against a Padres lineup that ranks last in the Majors with a .637 OPS against righties.

Samardzija earns fifth win

Jeff Locke: With a 5.45 ERA this season, the left-hander could have a reduced cost in DraftKings contests when he works at his pitcher-friendly home park against a Braves lineup that ranks last in the Majors in OPS against lefties (.543) and total home runs (13). Also of note: Atlanta ranks last in baseball with a 9-29 record.

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.