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.
Padres left-hander Eric Lauer hasn’t pitched deep into games of late, but he has pitched rather well since returning from a forearm strain, with a 1.42 ERA in four starts. While he’s walked eight batters in 19 innings during that time, he’s also struck out a batter per inning. He actually holds a 3.42 ERA in his last 15 starts dating back to the start of June. With streaming options being scooped up left and right in this final week, Lauer is a worthy play with a scheduled start against the weak-hitting Giants on Wednesday. As of Monday morning, Lauer was still available in 97 percent of Yahoo leagues.