MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Trio of Nationals could lead way on Thursday

Three Yankees primed for big games in Minnesota, Mazara tries to stay hot

Trio of Nationals could lead way 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.

Bryce Harper: Since the outset of 2015, the outfielder has posted a game-changing .314/.460/.637 slash line against right-handers. Harper could post a notable DraftKings total when he faces righty Erik Johnson (career 4.73 ERA, 1.61 WHIP) and a Padres bullpen that ranks 27th in baseball with a 4.64 ERA.

Daniel Murphy: Hitting .361, the second baseman has been one of the most productive players at his premium position this season. Murphy could reach base often or drive in multiple runs when he brings his lifetime .801 OPS against right-handers (.684 vs. lefties) into a matchup with the right-handed Johnson and an unreliable Padres relief corps.

Ben Revere: Hitting .212, the outfielder could have a reduced cost in DraftKings contests when brings his balanced lifetime splits into a matchup with Johnson (career 5.83 FIP) and a suspect Padres bullpen. In his career, Johnson has allowed left-handed hitters such as Revere to post a .984 OPS (.749 OPS allowed to righty batters).

Jacoby Ellsbury: From his perch atop the lineup, the outfielder could reach base often or score multiple runs when he faces Twins righty Kyle Gibson (career 4.55 ERA, 1.37 WHIP). Ellsbury could also swipe a base against Kurt Suzuki, who has thrown out 20 of 116 would-be base stealers since the outset of 2015.

Didi Gregorius: The shortstop could provide cost-effective production at a premium position when he brings his lifetime .719 OPS against right-handers (.593 vs. lefties) into a matchup with the righty Gibson (6.49 ERA, 1.67 WHIP in 2016). Gregorius could also thrive late in the game against a Twins relief corps that ranks 26th in the Majors with a 4.49 ERA.

Brian McCann: One of the most powerful players at his premium position, McCann will be in prime position to go deep when he takes his lifetime .821 OPS against right-handers (.751 vs. lefties) into a matchup with the right-handed Gibson and an unreliable Twins bullpen. Also of note: McCann will attempt to put balls into play against a Minnesota squad that ranks last in baseball with a .659 defensive efficiency ratio.

David Ortiz: Much of the slugger's legendary lifetime track record stems from his .295/.397/.583 slash line against right-handers. On Wednesday, Ortiz could put a ball into the outfield seats when he faces Orioles righty Tyler Wilson (career 4.26 ERA, 1.27 WHIP).

Mookie Betts: With 14 homers, 11 steals, 47 RBIs and 59 runs across 299 plate appearances, the outfielder has been among the most productive hitters in baseball this season. As the leadoff hitter on a lineup that leads the Majors with an .839 OPS against right-handers, Betts could contribute to DraftKings squads in multiple ways when he faces the right-handed Wilson (4.73 ERA in 2016).

Curtis Granderson: With a lifetime .859 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .693 mark vs. lefties, the outfielder will be in position to excel when he faces Pirates righty Juan Nicasio, who in his career has allowed left-handed hitters such as Granderson to post an .857 OPS (.750 OPS allowed to righty batters).

Joey Votto: The first baseman has used a patient, powerful approach to build an impressive lifetime .313/.431/.544 slash line against right-handers. Votto could reach base often or score multiple runs when he faces righty Matt Wisler (career 4.56 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) and a Braves bullpen that ranks 28th in the Majors with a 4.65 ERA.

Jay Bruce: The outfielder has long fared best vs. right-handers, against whom he has a lifetime .816 OPS (.723 vs. lefties). Bruce could have a great game when faces the right-handed Wisler, who in his career has allowed left-handed batters such as Bruce to post an .879 OPS (.666 OPS allowed to righty batters).

Nomar Mazara: The rookie outfielder will be in prime position to improve on his .331/.384/.545 slash line against right-handers when he tangles with righty Daniel Mengden, who will be making his second career start. Also of note: Mazara will attempt to put balls into play against an A's squad that ranks 27th in the Majors with a .676 defensive efficiency ratio.

Shin-Soo Choo: As a big leaguer, Choo has registered a .907 OPS against right-handers in comparison to a .686 mark vs. lefties. The outfielder could reach base often or score multiple runs when he faces the inexperienced righty Mengden.

Tanner Roark: The right-hander could be an effective second starter in DraftKings contests when he brings his impressive career 3.09 ERA into a matchup at pitcher-friendly Petco Park with a Padres lineup that ranks 29th in the Majors with a .642 OPS against righties.

Justin Verlander: With a 3.77 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP and a 9.4 K/9 rate, the right-hander has been rejuvenated in 2016. Verlander could spin a gem when he works at pitcher-friendly Kauffman Stadium against a Royals lineup that ranks 19th in baseball with a .719 OPS against righties and last in the American League with 57 total home runs.

Dan Straily: With a 3.15 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP this season, the right-hander is emerging as a viable second starter for DraftKings players. Straily could compile six-plus effective innings when he vacates his offense-inducing home park and works at pitcher-friendly Turner Field against a Braves lineup that ranks last in the Majors in OPS vs. righties (.640) and total home runs (27).

J.A. Happ: Having posted a 2.73 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP across 23 starts since Aug. 14, 2015, the left-hander has the skills to post a notable DraftKings total when he faces a Phillies lineup that ranks 29th in the Majors with a .610 OPS against southpaws. Also working in Happ's favor: The lefty will work in front of a Blue Jays squad that ranks third in the Majors with a .710 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.