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Fred Zinkie

Cubs' bats, Hammel set to excel Thursday

Rangers' Fielder, Mazara, Odor could join NL leaders as top picks

Cubs' bats, Hammel set to excel 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 Heyward: The outfielder has long fared best vs. right-handers, against whom he has a lifetime .822 OPS (.660 vs. lefties). Heyward has the plate skills to thrive against Braves righty Lucas Harrell (career 4.79 ERA, 1.57 WHIP) and the speed to swipe a base against either Braves catcher -- A.J. Pierzynski or Tyler Flowers, who have combined to throw out nine of 70 would-be base stealers in 2016.

Addison Russell: The second-year shortstop owns notable lifetime splits, with a .761 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .588 mark vs. lefties. As part of a Cubs lineup that leads the National League with 438 runs scored, Russell could have a great game at the expense of the right-handed Harrell and a Braves bullpen that ranks 19th in the Majors with a 4.19 ERA.

Anthony Rizzo: Since the outset of 2015, the first baseman has used a patient, powerful approach to build a .288/.396/.557 slash line against right-handers. From the heart of a talent-laden Cubs lineup, Rizzo could post a notable DraftKings total when he faces the righty Harrell (career 4.47 FIP) and an unreliable Braves bullpen.

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Odubel Herrera: With a 43-to-63 walk-to-strikeout ratio, the outfielder has made notable improvements at the plate this season. Herrera could produce in multiple ways when he brings his lifetime .832 OPS against right-handers (.665 vs. lefties) into a matchup at hitter-friendly Coors Field against righty Chad Bettis (career 5.44 ERA, 1.55 WHIP) and a Rockies squad that ranks 29th in baseball with a .670 defensive efficiency ratio.

Maikel Franco: As a big leaguer, the third baseman has posted an .807 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .701 mark vs. lefties. Set to take his powerful bat to homer-happy Coors Field, Franco could put a ball into the outfield seats at the expense of the right-handed Bettis (5.85 ERA, 1.52 WHIP in 2016) and a Rockies relief corps that ranks 28th in baseball with a 4.94 ERA.

Peter Bourjos: Batting second in recent days, Bourjos has produced an overall .463/.508/.759 slash line during a 14-game hitting streak that began on June 21. The outfielder could stay hot when he brings his balanced career splits into a matchup with Bettis and unreliable Rockies bullpen at Colorado's offense-inducing venue.

All-Stars with fantasy value

Prince Fielder: Hitting .217 this season, the slugger could have a reduced price tag in DraftKings contests when he brings his impressive lifetime .944 OPS against right-handers (.779 vs. lefties) into a matchup with righty Tyler Duffey (career 4.51 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) and a Twins bullpen that ranks 25th in baseball with a 4.46 ERA.

Nomar Mazara: The rookie outfielder will be in great position to improve on his .302/.354/.483 slash line against right-handers when he bats at his hitter-friendly home park vs. the right-handed Duffey (5.62 ERA, 1.41 WHIP in 2016) and a Twins squad that ranks last in the Majors with a .664 defensive efficiency ratio.

Rougned Odor: With a balanced career splits, the second baseman -- who has 16 homers and seven steals across 326 plate appearances this year -- could provide production at a premium position when he faces Duffey (career 4.03 FIP) and an unreliable Twins bullpen.

Max Kepler: The rookie outfielder has posted a lifetime .814 OPS against right-handers in comparison to a .725 mark vs. lefties. Kepler could go deep or drive in multiple runs when he bats at offense-inducing Globe Life Park in Arlington against righty Chi Chi Gonzalez (career 4.33 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) and a Rangers relief corps that ranks 29th in baseball with a 4.96 ERA.

All-Stars with fantasy value

Joe Mauer: With a lifetime .889 OPS against right-handers (.742 vs. lefties), the first baseman will be in position to thrive when he faces the right-handed Gonzalez (career 4.93 FIP) and a suspect Rangers bullpen. In his career, Gonzalez has allowed left-handed hitters such as Mauer to post a .696 OPS (.626 OPS allowed to righty batters).

Miguel Cabrera: With a lifetime .323/.390/.564 slash line against right-handers, the first baseman has proven to be one of the best in baseball during those matchups. Cabrera could put a ball into the outfield seats at homer-happy Rogers Centre when he faces righty Drew Hutchison (career 4.92 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 1.2 HR/9 rate).

Trevor Bauer: With a 3.02 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP, the right-hander is in the midst of a breakout season. Bauer could continue to limit the opposition when he works at home against a Yankees lineup that ranks 21st in baseball in OPS vs. righties (.715) and 29th in OPS on the road (.675).

Jason Hammel: The right-hander will be in prime position to spin a gem when he faces a Braves lineup that ranks last in baseball in OPS against righties (.652) and total home runs (45). Also working in Hammel's favor: The Cubs lead the Majors with a .729 defensive efficiency ratio.

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Drew Pomeranz: Having produced a 2.65 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP and a 10.3 K/9 rate, the left-hander has been a major factor in many 2016 DraftKings contests. Pomeranz could deliver a stellar start when he works at pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium against a Los Angeles squad that ranks 28th in the Majors with a .661 OPS against southpaws.

D.J. LeMahieu: With balanced career splits and a lifetime .322/.375/.442 slash line at Coors Field, the second baseman will be in position to have a great game when he hits at home against left-hander Adam Morgan (career 5.25. ERA, 1.39 WHIP) and a Phillies bullpen that ranks 23rd in baseball with a 4.36 ERA.

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Doug Fister: With a 3.66 ERA this season, the right-hander could be a solid second starter in DraftKings contests when he works at home against an A's lineup that ranks 28th in the Majors with a .693 OPS against righties.

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.