MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Dodgers, Cubs bats ready to rock Thursday

Blue Jays' Encarnacion, Phillies' Eickhoff could also represent top picks to click

Dodgers, Cubs bats ready to rock 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.

Corey Seager: Hitting .319 with 25 homers and 95 runs across 613 plate appearances, the shortstop is putting the finishing touches on a memorable rookie season. Seager could improve on his impressive .346/.404/.579 slash line against right-handers when he bats at homer-happy Chase Field against right-handed Archie Bradley (5.10 ERA, 1.57 WHIP in 2016) and a D-backs bullpen that ranks last in the Majors with a 5.16 ERA.

Adrian Gonzalez: Hitting .289 with 79 RBIs across 516 at-bats, the first baseman continues to be one of the most reliable hitters in baseball. From the heart of the lineup, Gonzalez could drive in multiple runs when he brings his lifetime .379 wOBA against right-handers (.331 vs. lefties) into a matchup against the right-handed Bradley (career 5.26 ERA, 1.58 WHIP) and a D-backs squad that ranks last in baseball with a .663 defensive efficiency ratio.

Adrian's two-run homer

Justin Turner: The third baseman could go deep or score multiple runs when he brings his lifetime .829 OPS against right-handers (.696 vs. lefties) into a matchup with the right-handed Bradley and an unreliable D-backs bullpen.

Chase Utley: The second baseman has produced pronounced splits this season, with a .738 OPS against right-handers in comparison to a .470 mark vs. lefties. From his perch atop the lineup, Utley may maximize his opportunities against the right-handed Bradley (career 4.64 FIP) at Arizona's hitter-friendly venue.

Anthony Rizzo: The first baseman will be in great position to improve on his impressive 2016 statistics of 29 homers and 98 RBIs across 526 at-bats when he brings his lifetime .871 OPS against right-handers (.775 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Brewers righty Jimmy Nelson (career 4.29 ERA, 1.39 WHIP). In his career, Nelson has allowed left-handed hitters such as Rizzo to post an .821 OPS (.678 OPS allowed to righty batters).

Rizzo's solo homer

Addison Russell: The second-year shortstop will have an excellent opportunity to improve on his lifetime 100 wRC+ against right-handers (83 vs. lefties) when he faces the right-handed Nelson (4.42 ERA, 1.51 WHIP in 2016). Russell may also excel late in the game against a Brewers bullpen that lacks reliable options after trading away Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith in late July.

Jason Heyward: Despite modest 2016 production (.223 average, six homers across 484 at-bats), the left-handed-hitting Heyward could be a cost-effective outfielder for DraftKings participants when he brings his solid lifetime .806 OPS against right-handers (.651 vs. lefties) into a matchup with the right-handed Nelson and an unsettled Brewers bullpen.

Edwin Encarnacion: With 39 homers and 115 RBIs across 535 at-bats, the first baseman has been one of the most powerful players in baseball this season. From the heart of the lineup, Encarnacion could drive in multiple runs when he faces Angels rookie righty Daniel Wright (7.50 ERA, 1.89 WHIP).

Devon Travis: Hitting leadoff, the second baseman may maximize his opportunities to reach base and score runs when he brings his lifetime .842 OPS against right-handers (.762 vs. lefties) into a matchup with the inexperienced righty Wright (18 innings). Travis could also excel late in the game against an Angels bullpen that is working without injured anchors Huston Street and Cam Bedrosian.

Travis' RBI double

Eric Hosmer: Having registered a lifetime 118 wRC+ against right-handers that exceeds his 87 mark vs. lefties, the first baseman will be in prime position to have a great game when he faces A's rookie righty Daniel Mengden (6.39 ERA, 1.69 WHIP).

Kendrys Morales: The slugger has long fared best vs. right-handers, against whom he has a lifetime .813 OPS (.751 vs. lefties). Morales could hit his 28th homer of the season or drive in multiple runs when he tangles with the inexperienced righty Mengden (4.52 FIP).

Brad Miller: Eligible at first base and shortstop, Miller could enter DraftKings lineups in multiple ways when he brings a lifetime .203 ISO against right-handers (.095 vs. lefties) into a matchup at hitter-friendly Camden Yards against righty Yovani Gallardo (5.44 ERA, 1.60 WHIP in 2016). Also of note: Baltimore's venue has proven to be especially power-inducing for lefty sluggers such as Miller.

Miller's 27th homer pads lead

Corey Dickerson: Hitting .243 this season, the outfielder could have a reduced price tag in DraftKings contests when he brings his solid lifetime .885 OPS against right-handers (.644 vs. lefties) into a matchup with the right-handed Gallardo (5.23 FIP in 2016) at Baltimore's homer-happy venue.

Stephen Vogt: With a lifetime 108 wRC+ against right-handers that exceeds his 74 mark vs. lefties, the catcher will be poised to thrive when he tangles with Royals righty Edinson Volquez (5.09 ERA, 1.49 WHIP in 2016).

J.A. Happ: With an 18-4 record and a 3.33 ERA, the left-hander has made a major impact in many 2016 DraftKings contests. Happ could continue his effective campaign when he vacates his hitter-friendly home park and works at offense-suppressing Angel Stadium against a Los Angeles squad that ranks 21st in the Majors with a .733 OPS against southpaws.

Happ fans five in win

Jerad Eickhoff: The second-year right-hander could compile six-plus effective innings when he brings his solid career marks (3.49 ERA and 1.18 WHIP) into a matchup with a Pirates lineup that ranks 22nd in the Majors with a .720 OPS against righties.

Chad Kuhl: DraftKings participants who do not select Eickhoff may instead opt for his mound opponent, Kuhl. With a 3.38 ERA since the All-Star break, the Pirates right-hander could be a serviceable second starter in DraftKings contests when he faces a Phillies lineup that ranks 29th in baseball with a .688 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.