MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Harper, Cano, Ray in position to thrive today

Blue Jays' Encarnacion, Cardinals' Wainwright could join trio as day's top picks to click

Harper, Cano, Ray in position to thrive today

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.

Edwin Encarnacion: With 35 homers and 101 RBIs across 465 at-bats, the slugger has been one of the most powerful players in baseball this season. Encarnacion will be in prime positon to go deep when he bats at his hitter-friendly home park against Angels fly-ball-prone righty Jered Weaver (5.47 ERA, 2.0 HR/9 rate in 2016).

Justin Smoak: The first baseman may display his power when he brings his lifetime .720 OPS against right-handers (.657 vs. lefties) into a matchup with the homer-prone righty Weaver (5.82 FIP in 2016). Smoak could also excel late in the game against an Angels bullpen that will work without injured anchors Huston Street and Cam Bedrosian.

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Bryce Harper: Hitting .378 with two homers and 11 RBIs across 37 at-bats since Aug. 14, the reigning National League MVP has returned to form after a midseason slump. Harper could provide a substantial DraftKings total when he faces Orioles righty Ubaldo Jimenez (6.94 ERA, 1.91 WHIP in 2016).

Daniel Murphy: Hitting .344 with 23 homers and 90 RBIs across 442 at-bats, the second baseman has been one of the most productive players in baseball this season. Hitting behind Harper, Murphy could drive in multiple runs when he brings his lifetime 121 wRC+ against right-handers (95 vs. lefties) into a matchup with the right-handed Jimenez (career 4.18 ERA, 1.39 WHIP).

Robinson Cano: In his productive career, the second baseman has registered a lofty .890 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .776 mark vs. lefties. Cano could put a ball into the outfield seats when he vacates his pitcher-friendly home park and bats at homer-happy U.S. Cellular Field against White Sox righty Anthony Ranaudo (career 6.39 ERA, 1.54 WHIP).

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Kyle Seager: The third baseman has long fared best vs. right-handers, against whom he has a lifetime .354 wOBA (.309 vs. lefties). Seager could add to his impressive 2016 totals of 24 homers and 83 RBIs across 468 at-bats when he faces the right-handed Ranaudo (career 7.01 FIP) at Chicago's hitter-friendly venue.

Seth Smith: With notable lifetime splits that include a 122 wRC+ against right-handers in comparison to a 60 mark vs. lefties, the outfielder will be in great position to have a productive game at the expense of the right-handed Ranaudo.

Nomar Mazara: The rookie outfielder will be in prime position to improve on his .297/.353/.472 slash line against right-handers when he bats at his offense-inducing home park against Indians fly-ball-prone righty Josh Tomlin (4.39 ERA, 2.0 HR/9 rate in 2016).

Mitch Moreland: As a big leaguer, the first baseman has produced a .798 OPS against right-handers in comparison to a .670 mark vs. lefties. Moreland could hit his 22nd home run of the season when he bats at his power-happy home venue against the right-handed Tomlin (career 1.6 HR/9 rate).

Moreland's solo home run

Carlos Beltran: With 24 homers and 72 RBIs across 429 at-bats, the slugger has been one of the most powerful players in the American League this season. Beltran could put a ball into the outfield seats when he brings his balanced career splits into a matchup at his offense-inducing home park against the homer-prone Tomlin.

Gregory Polanco: With 19 homers, 70 RBIs and 11 steals across 450 plate appearances, the outfielder has the diverse skill set that DraftKings participants covet. Polanco could contribute in multiple ways when he takes his lifetime .334 wOBA against right-handers (.263 vs. lefties) into a matchup at hitter-friendly Miller Park against righty Wily Peralta (6.00 ERA, 1.74 WHIP in 2016).

Christian Yelich: Hitting .312 with 15 homers and 72 RBIs across 449 at-bats, the outfielder has been a major contributor to many 2016 DraftKings squads. From the heart of the lineup, Yelich could collect multiple hits or RBIs when he brings his lifetime 133 wRC+ against right-handers (94 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Royals righty Edinson Volquez (5.04 ERA, 1.46 WHIP in 2016).

Matt Carpenter: Eligible at second base and third base, Carpenter could enter DraftKings lineups in multiple ways when he brings his lifetime 142 wRC+ against right-handers (116 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Mets rookie righty Seth Lugo, who will be making his second career start.

Brandon Moss: With 23 homers across 293 at-bats, the first baseman has been an underrated source of power this season. Moss could go deep or drive in multiple runs when he takes his lifetime .236 ISO against right-handers (.153 vs. lefties) into a matchup with the inexperienced righty Lugo.

Moss' solo tater

Tom Koehler: With a 1.62 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP across his past six starts, the right-hander will be in fine form heading into a matchup at his pitcher-friendly home park against a Royals lineup that ranks last in baseball with a .126 ISO vs. righties and will have to work without the designated-hitter spot at a National League venue.

Adam Wainwright: Having posted a 7.71 ERA across his past five starts, the right-hander could have a reduced price tag in DraftKings contests when he works at his pitcher-friendly home park against a Mets lineup that ranks 25th in baseball with a .706 OPS against righties.

Robbie Ray: With a 0.95 ERA, a 0.79 WHIP and a 10.4 K/9 rate across his past three starts, the left-hander ranks among the hottest pitchers in baseball heading into a matchup with a Braves lineup that ranks last in the Majors in OPS vs. southpaws (.651) and total home runs (88).

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.