Welcome to Pickup of the Day, where every weekday we'll pick an under-the-radar player whose immediate value is on the rise. The idea here is to identify a starter who can give you some solid innings off the scrap heap, a talented backup who's been given a chance because of a starter's injury, an unheralded regular with a favorable matchup, or a potential breakout player who's starting to put it together. Unlike regular waiver-wire advice, Pickup of the Day is geared more towards interim success, but hopefully we'll have the intuition to help you snag a waiver-wire gem a few times this season.
Mike Clevinger holds an uninspiring 5.26 ERA across his first 53 innings in the majors. The 26-year-old has an intriguing arm, though, having struck out nearly a batter per frame with the big club last year and this year getting off to a terrific start at Triple-A Columbus (1.50 ERA, 32/10 K/BB ratio over 30 innings). He should get at least a couple starts while Corey Kluber (back) is out, and the first one comes Sunday against a Royals offense that’s the lowest scoring in baseball by a whopping 23 runs. Clevinger’s next outing will come against a Twins club that doesn’t exactly have an intimidating offense, either.