This article is part of our FantasyAces MLB series.
Be sure to checkout tonight's FAWBC Qualifier, as the winner gets an entry to the $250K Fantasy Aces World Baseball Championship live in Anaheim, California at Angel Stadium August 15. Only 20 will win a trip to the final, and the winner takes home $100K.
OPS is a great indicator of point potential under the scoring system, with walks being worth just as much as singles and the progression of points per extra base is one per. Strikeouts are pretty heavily penalized, so be diligent with those prone to strikeouts or those against a high strikeout pitcher. While on the pitching side, strikeouts aren't quite as overpowering as on other DFS sites and pitchers that can keep their pitch count low and go deeper into games can be better rewarded. Fantasy Aces offers a great selection of contests for Friday night's huge slate of 14 night games.
Francisco Liriano ($6,950): The bad news: the Braves don't strikeout a whole lot. The good news: their lineup is about as poor as it gets, with only the Mets having a worse OPS over their last three games. Liriano has a 10.90 K/9, and for that reason he is always a big upside guy. He's only given up one walk in each of his last five outings, a huge improvement over what he showcased at the start of the season. Liriano has always been a volatile option, mostly because of his tendency to miss the zone, but lately he's really improved in that category. And the Braves? Without Freddie Freeman, the lineup has absolutely no punch and should be readily abused from a pitching standpoint. And, with Max Scherzer's price now climbing to $8,300, Liriano has Scherzer-esque upside while being affordable to those playing the SalaryPro format.
Noah Syndergaard ($5,850): The 22-year-old, also known as Thor, will look to bring the hammer against the Reds in his home ballpark. Syndergaard, while struggling in his away games, has already carved quite the nest at Citi Field with a 2.13 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 8.54 K/9 in 25.3 innings. The Reds posses a few power strokes through the middle of their lineup, but they have been striking out plenty of late with a K/9 of 9.67 over their last three games. If Syndergaard can make use of the home-run resistant stadium he pitches in, he could be in line for a big outing. His team's offense has been the worst in baseball over the last three games, and with Johnny Cueto opposing, it doesn't bode well to buck the trend here, though Cueto is coming off some elongated rest for an elbow issue and may be on a lower pitch count or more susceptible than usual.
Dioner Navarro ($4,600): The Blue Jays' lineup is flying high and hitting them long, and they are priced like it too, but with Navarro getting time at DH in the midst of that big-time order, he provides a fair price to grab a piece of the action. Throw in two home runs in his last three games, and a 1.146 OPS over his last six, and Navarro makes a very strong case as an affordable catcher.
Miguel Cabrera ($5,950): The high prices of the 1B/3B category make things difficult when trying to recommend value. Cabrera is hitting over .400 over the last seven days and the righty-laden Tigers lineup as a whole should eat up lefty Jose Quintana like a vegan with quinoa.
Justin Turner ($4,950): With four home runs over his last seven games, it's not hard to land on Turner. Add in the inexperienced lefty he'll be facing in Justin Nicolino, and the more shares of Turner you own, the merrier you will be.
Carlos Correa ($4,750): Correa is no well kept secret, as the 20-year-old former first overall pick has quickly made a meaningful impact in the majors. He's going to have his ups-and-downs, and he's going to strikeout some, but he's also going to hit and hit for power. He's going to steal the occasional base, too. Unless he really begins to quickly trend downward, I'll continue buying stock until his price gets too high.
Robinson Cano ($4,750): Not having the best start to his season, Cano looks like he's poised to finish with his batting average below .300 for the first time in seven years. Nonetheless, over the last week he's recorded a .925 OPS (hinting that this slump may finally be reverting itself). When Cano is hitting well, he can really hit.
Ryan Rua ($3,450): Rua is a gamble being that he is going to strikeout a lot, but he also posses some power and will likely be slotted second in the order with lefty Mark Buehrle on the mound. He's recorded as many as 32 home runs in a minor league season, so the power is there; let's just hope Buehrle and the Rogers Centre brings it out of him, as it does for so many others.
Matt Kemp ($4,700): Here's to hoping Kemp's home run Thursday night in San Francisco gets him out of the slump he's been laboring through for much of the season. The former 39 home-run hitter has seen his price steadily decline, but now while his confidence is instilled it's time to invest before he gets hot and sees his price (and season) normalize to the numbers we expected to see all along.
Ryan Raburn ($4,250): With Bruce Chen on the mound, Raburn will look to continue his success against lefties on the year, recording a .315 batting average and .934 OPS thus far. He typically slots into the cleanup spot against a southpaw.
Yoenis Cespedes ($4,800): The Tigers are the top stack of the night. They will feature right-handed batters from 1-9 and face a struggling lefty in Jose Quintana. Cespedes has a .333 batting average and .901 OPS over the last seven days.
Victor Martinez ($4,950): After going to the DL, a move that was long overdue when watching him struggle to even run to first base, Martinez has come back healthy and hungry. When hitting well, he's one of the better hitters in the game. Martinez has a .391 batting average over his last five games with three extra-base hits.