MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Indians bats in position to thrive Thursday

Nationals' Harper, Giants' Bumgarner could join Tribe among top picks

Indians bats in position to thrive Thursday

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 Thursday.

Rajai Davis: With a lifetime .347 wOBA against left-handers that exceeds his .292 mark vs. righties, the outfielder has the plate skills to reach base often against White Sox southpaw Carlos Rodon (career 4.00 ERA, 1.46 WHIP). Davis could also swipe his 34th base of the season at the expense of catcher Dioner Navarro, who sometimes struggle to thwart would-be basestealers.

Mike Napoli: Having compiled 29 homers and 85 RBIs across 417 at-bats, the first baseman has been one of the most powerful players in the American League this season. Napoli could go deep or drive in multiple runs when he brings his lifetime 147 wRC+ against left-handers (117 vs. righties) into a matchup with the left-handed Rodon, who in his career has allowed right-handed hitters such as Napoli to post an .827 OPS (.522 OPS allowed to lefty batters).

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Francisco Lindor: The second-year shortstop will be in great position to improve on his impressive lifetime .321/.355/.484 slash line against left-handers when he tangles with the left-handed Rodon (4.32 ERA, 1.49 WHIP in 2016).

Daniel Murphy: Hitting .348 with 22 homers and 87 RBIs across 419 at-bats, the second baseman has been one of the most productive players in the National League this season. Murphy could go deep or drive in multiple runs when he brings his lifetime .809 OPS against right-handers (.706 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Braves rookie righty Rob Whalen (7.31 ERA).

Bryce Harper: Hitting .171 since the All-Star break, the superstar outfielder could have a reduced price tag in DraftKings contests when he tangles with the inexperienced righty Whalen (16 career innings). Harper could also swipe his 16th base of the season against catcher Tyler Flowers, who sometimes struggles to thwart would-be basestealers.

Jake Lamb: With 24 homers and 75 RBIs across 388 at-bats, the third baseman is coming down the stretch of a breakout season. Lamb could thrive when he brings his lifetime 118 wRC+ against right-handers (48 vs. lefties) into a matchup with righty Paul Clemens (career 5.32 ERA, 1.51 WHIP) and a Padres bullpen that ranks 25th in baseball with a 4.46 ERA.

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Alex Dickerson: Dickerson owns notable lifetime splits, with an .851 OPS against right-handers in comparison to a .607 mark vs. lefties. The outfielder could drive in multiple runs when he faces D-backs righty Archie Bradley, who in his career has allowed left-handed hitters such as Dickerson to post an .870 OPS (.712 OPS allowed to righty batters).

Travis Jankowski: The outfielder could improve on his lifetime .731 OPS against right-handers (.417 vs. lefties) when he faces the right-handed Bradley (career 5.15 ERA, 1.55 WHIP) and a D-backs squad that ranks 29th in baseball with a .666 defensive efficiency ratio. Jankowski could also thrive late in the game against an Arizona bullpen that ranks last in the Majors with a 5.04 ERA.

Odubel Herrera: The second-year outfielder will be in prime position to improve on his lifetime .350 wOBA against right-handers (.296 vs. lefties) when he bats at his hitter-friendly home park against Dodgers righty Ross Stripling (career 4.07 ERA).

Herrera's RBI single

Eric Hosmer: As a big leaguer, the first baseman has produced an .801 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .684 mark vs. lefties. From the heart of the lineup, Hosmer could reach base often or score multiple runs when he faces Twins righty Tyler Duffey (career 4.81 ERA, 1.40 WHIP).

Kendrys Morales: With a lifetime .203 ISO against right-handers in comparison to a .157 mark vs. lefties, the slugger will be in prime position to drive in multiple runs when he faces the right-handed Duffey (5.71 ERA, 1.45 WHIP in 2016) and a Twins bullpen that ranks 23rd in baseball with a 4.27 ERA.

Max Kepler: With seven homers and 19 RBIs across 111 at-bats in the second half, the outfielder has been a cost-effective option in many recent DraftKings contests. Kepler could improve on his lifetime 137 wRC+ against right-handers (72 vs. lefties) when he faces Royals righty Dillon Gee (4.78 ERA, 1.57 WHIP in 2016).

Xander Bogaerts: Hitting .312 with 69 RBIs and 83 runs across 525 plate appearances, the shortstop has been one of the most productive players at his premium position this season. From a premium spot in a Red Sox lineup that leads the Majors with 648 runs scored, Bogaerts could post a substantial DraftKings total when he brings his lifetime .840 OPS against left-handers (.717 vs. righties) into a matchup with Tigers southpaw Matt Boyd (career 5.78 ERA, 1.40 WHIP).

Dustin Pedroia: The second baseman could reach base often or score multiple runs when he brings his lifetime .842 OPS against left-handers (.798 vs. righties) into a matchup with the left-handed Boyd (4.16 ERA in 2016) and a Tigers relief corps that ranks 22nd in the Majors with a 4.12 ERA.

Danny Salazar: With a 3.42 ERA and a 9.8 K/9 rate since the outset of 2015, the right-hander has the skills to have a successful return from the disabled list when he works at home against a White Sox lineup that ranks 24th in baseball with a .707 OPS against righties.

deGrom, Bumgarner set to duel

Madison Bumgarner: Having posted a 2.11 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP this season, the left-hander continues to rank among the most effective aces in the National League. Bumgarner could continue to limit the opposition when he works at his pitcher-friendly home park against a Mets lineup that ranks 29th in baseball with 445 runs scored.

Jose Fernandez: With a 2.53 ERA and an 11.3 K/9 rate in his career, the right-hander ranks among the most dominant starters in baseball. Fernandez could post a game-changing DraftKings total when he faces a Reds lineup that ranks 21st in the Majors with a .716 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.