MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Altuve, Stanton, Kipnis set to open weekend hot

Astros' Springer, Marlins' Ozuna, Indians' Naquin to join teammates as top picks to click

Altuve, Stanton, Kipnis set to open weekend hot

Welcome to DraftKings fantasy baseball, the Official Daily Fantasy Game of Major League Baseball.

The players listed below are in position to provide difference-making stats for DraftKings participants on Friday.

Jose Altuve: With a lifetime .355/.405/.511 slash line against left-handers, the second baseman has proven to be one of the best in baseball during those matchups. Altuve could add to his impressive 2016 totals of 19 homers, 79 runs and 25 steals across 483 plate appearances when he faces lefty Martin Perez (career 4.22 ERA, 1.41 WHIP) and a Rangers relief corps that ranks 27th in the Majors with a 4.75 ERA.

George Springer: In his career, the outfielder has produced a 148 wRC+ against left-handers that exceeds his 117 mark vs. righties. From a premium lineup spot, Springer could reach base often or score multiple runs when he faces the left-handed Perez (4.22 ERA, 1.44 WHIP in 2016) and an unreliable Rangers bullpen.

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Giancarlo Stanton: The outfielder has used a patient, powerful approach to build a lifetime .288/.381/.610 slash line against left-handers. Stanton could post a game-changing DraftKings total when he vacates his pitcher-friendly home park and bats at homer-happy Coors Field against Rockies southpaw Jorge De La Rosa (5.51 ERA, 1.60 WHIP in 2016).

Marcell Ozuna: With a lifetime .885 OPS against left-handers that exceeds his .726 mark vs. righties, the outfielder will be in prime position to rip his 20th round-tripper of the season when he faces the left-handed De La Rosa (career 4.61 ERA, 1.44 WHIP) at Colorado's offense-inducing venue. Ozuna could also thrive late in the game against a Rockies relief corps that ranks 28th in baseball with a 4.76 ERA.

Adeiny Hechavarria: Hitting .252 with three homers and one steal across 387 plate appearances, the shortstop could have a reduced price tag in DraftKings contests when he brings his lifetime .301 wOBA against left-handers (.270 vs. righties) into a matchup with the southpaw De La Rosa (4.97 FIP in 2016). In his career, De La Rosa has allowed right-handed hitters such as Hechavarria to post a .796 OPS (.647 OPS allowed to lefty batters).

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Martin Prado: The third baseman has long fared best vs. left-handers, against whom he has a lifetime .366 wOBA (.323 vs. righties). Prado could excel in a matchup at hitter-friendly Coors Field against the left-handed De La Rosa and a Rockies squad that ranks 28th in baseball with a .678 defensive efficiency ratio.

Jason Kipnis: From the No. 2 spot in the lineup, the left-handed-hitting second baseman could excel when he brings his lifetime 126 wRC+ against right-handers (86 vs. lefties) into a matchup at offense-inducing Yankee Stadium against righty Michael Pineda (5.13 ERA, 1.35 WHIP in 2016). Also working in Kipnis' favor: New York's venue has proven to be especially power-inducing for lefty batters.

Tyler Naquin: As a left-handed hitter set to bat at Yankee Stadium, the rookie outfielder will be in great position to improve on his impressive .339/.401/.645 slash line against right-handers at the expense of Pineda (1.5 HR/9 rate in 2016).

Bryce Harper: Since the outset of last season, the reigning National League MVP has posted an impressive 1.040 OPS against right-handers (.880 vs. lefties). Harper could provide elite production at the outfield position in DraftKings contests when he tangles with Giants righty Jeff Samardzija (4.30 ERA in 2016).

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Daniel Murphy: Hitting .358 with 21 homers and 80 RBIs across 386 at-bats, the second baseman has been one of the most productive players in the National League this season. Batting behind Harper, Murphy could drive in multiple runs when he brings his lifetime .160 ISO against right-handers (.119 vs. lefties) into a matchup with the right-handed Samardzija, who has a 6.29 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP across his past 11 starts.

Willson Contreras: The rookie catcher will be in prime position to improve on his impressive .302/.362/.465 slash line against left-handers when he tangles with A's rookie southpaw Dillon Overton (9.33 ERA, 2.18 WHIP).

Scooter Gennett: The second baseman owns lopsided lifetime splits, with a .337 wOBA against right-handers that exceeds his .223 mark vs. lefties. Gennett could provide cost-effective production when he bats at hitter-friendly Chase Field against rookie righty Braden Shipley (4.76 ERA, 1.59 WHIP) and a D-backs bullpen that ranks 29th in the Majors with a 5.10 ERA.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis: With 10 homers and seven steals across 289 plate appearances, the outfielder has been a cost-effective addition to many 2016 DraftKings squads. Nieuwenhuis could contribute in multiple ways when he brings his lifetime .743 OPS against right-handers (.485 vs. lefties) into a matchup at hitter-friendly Chase Field against the inexperience, right-handed Shipley (two starts) and a D-backs squad that ranks last in baseball with a .665 defensive efficiency ratio.

Jake Lamb: Hitting .281 with 23 homers and 69 RBIs across 345 at-bats, the third baseman is in the midst of a breakout season. Lamb could continue to rake when he brings his lifetime 122 wRC+ against right-handers (58 vs. lefties) into a matchup at his hitter-friendly home park against Brewers righty Chase Anderson (5.13 ERA, 1.44 WHIP in 2016).

Robinson Cano: In his productive career, the second baseman has registered a .317/.365/.526 slash line against right-handers. From the No. 3 spot in the lineup, Cano could post a game-changing DraftKings total when he tangles with Angels righty Tim Lincecum (8.49 ERA, 2.29 WHIP in 2016).

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Jaime Garcia: With a 4.30 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP this season, the left-hander could have a reduced price tag when he brings his solid lifetime 3.45 ERA into a matchup at his pitcher-friendly home park against a Braves lineup that sits last in the Majors in ISO vs. lefties (.106) and total home runs (66).

Ervin Santana: Having posted a 1.96 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP across his past eight starts, the right-hander is on top of his game as he heads into a matchup at pitcher-friendly Tropicana Field against a Rays lineup that ranks 21st in the Majors with a .712 OPS against righties.

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.