MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Blue Jays bats could open weekend on tear

Aces Sale, Fernandez set to join Saunders, Edwin as top picks

Blue Jays bats could open weekend on tear

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 Friday.

Michael Saunders: Hitting .296 with 16 homers across 291 at-bats, the outfielder has been a cost-effective option in many 2016 DraftKings contests. Saunders could continue his stellar campaign when he bats at his hitter-friendly home park against righty Mike Pelfrey (career 4.53 ERA, 1.50 WHIP) and a Tigers bullpen that ranks 23rd in baseball with a 4.40 ERA.

Ezequiel Carrera: From his perch atop the lineup, the outfielder could reach base often and score multiple runs when he brings his balanced career splits into a matchup with Pelfrey (4.78 ERA, 1.72 WHIP in 2016) and an inconsistent Tigers bullpen.

Edwin Encarnacion: Since the outset of 2012, the first baseman has posted a .273/.364/.546 slash line against right-handers and a .276/.373/.562 line at his hitter-friendly home park. Hitting .325 with 12 homers and 37 RBIs across 114 at-bats since June 1, Encarnacion may be worth a major investment in DraftKings contests when he bats at home against the right-handed Pelfrey and an unreliable Tigers bullpen.

Zinkie on dynasty players

Christian Yelich: In his career, the outfielder has posted an .821 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .699 mark vs. lefties. Yelich has the plate skills to succeed against Reds righty Dan Straily (career 4.53 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) and the speed to swipe a base against Tucker Barnhart, who has allowed more steals than all but one catcher in 2016.

Derek Dietrich: With a lifetime .802 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .629 mark vs. lefties, the second baseman could reach base often or drive in multiple runs at the expense of the right-handed Straily (4.34 ERA in 2016) and a Reds relief corps that ranks last in baseball with a 5.77 ERA.

Corey Seager: The shortstop could improve on his impressive 2016 totals of 17 homers and 59 runs across 372 plate appearances when he faces Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner, who in his career has allowed left-handed hitters such as Seager to post a .750 OPS (.660 OPS surrendered to righty batters).

Odubel Herrera: With a 43-to-65 walk-to-strikeout ratio, the outfielder has notably improved his plate disclipline this season. Herrera could produce in multiple ways when he brings his lifetime .832 OPS against right-handers (.673 vs. lefties) into a matchup at hitter-friendly Coors Field against righty Jon Gray (career 5.05 ERA, 1.34 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 .814 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .701 mark vs. lefties. Set to bring his powerful bat to homer-happy Coors Field, Franco could put a ball into the outfield seats at the expense of the right-handed Gray (4.81 ERA in 2016) and a Rockies relief corps that ranks 29th in baseball with a 4.99 ERA.

Zinkie on waiver wire pickups

Jason Kipnis: From a premium lineup spot, the second baseman could reach base often or score multiple runs when he takes his lifetime .809 OPS against right-handers (.660 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Yankees righty Chad Green, who has logged just 11 big league innings.

Buster Posey: Hitting .289 with 11 homers across 280 at-bats this year, the catcher continues to rank among the top producers at his premium position. Posey could post a notable DraftKings total when he brings his lofty lifetime .328/.390/.565 slash line against left-handers into a matchup with D-backs southpaw Patrick Corbin (4.90 ERA, 1.45 WHIP in 2016).

Javier Baez: With a lifetime .876 OPS against left-handers that exceeds his .598 mark vs. righties, Baez -- who qualifies at third base and shortstop in DraftKings contests -- could excel in a matchup against Pirates southpaw Francisco Liriano (5.34 ERA, 1.64 WHIP in 2016). In his career, Liriano has allowed right-handed batters such as Baez to post a .717 OPS (.586 OPS allowed to lefty batters).

Nomar Mazara: The rookie will be in great position to improve on his .308/.358/.486 slash line against right-handers when he bats at his hitter-friendly home park against righty Kyle Gibson (4.82 ERA, 1.43 WHIP in 2016) and a Twins squad that ranks last in the Majors with a .666 defensive efficiency ratio.

Mitch Moreland: Hitting .229 this season, the first baseman may have a reduced cost in DraftKings contests when he faces the right-handed Gibson (career 4.47 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) and a Twins bullpen that ranks 24th in the Majors with a 4.46 ERA. In his career, Moreland has produced a .789 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .650 mark vs. lefties.

Adam Eaton: The outfielder could reach base often when he faces Braves righty Matt Wisler, who in his career has allowed left-handed hitters such as Eaton to post an .880 OPS (.653 OPS allowed to righty batters). Eaton could also swipe a bag against either Braves catcher -- A.J. Pierzynski or Tyler Flowers, who have thwarted nine of 72 would-be base stealers in 2016.

Zinkie on Glasnow's callup

Corey Kluber: With a 3.12 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and a 9.9 K/9 rate since the outset of 2014, the right-hander is among the most dominant starters in the American League. Kluber could spin a gem when he works at home against a Yankees lineup that ranks 22nd in baseball in OPS vs. righties (.712) and 29th in OPS on the road (.671).

Jose Fernandez: Having produced a 2.47 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and an 11.1 K/9 rate in his career, the right-hander owns one of baseball's best skillsets. Fernandez could post a substantial DraftKings total when he works at home against a Reds lineup that ranks 27th in baseball in OPS against righties (.695) and 26th in OPS on the road (.690).

Future fantasy first rounders

Chris Sale: Having posted a 14-2 record, a 2.93 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP, the left-hander has been arguably the most effective starter in the American League this season. Sale could deliver a stellar start when he faces a Braves lineup that ranks 29th in the Majors in OPS against lefties (.620) and last in total home runs (45).

All statistics are accurate through the completion of Wednesday'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.