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.
Mets left-hander Jon Niese went 7 2/3 scoreless innings Sunday in New York's eventual 18-inning win over the Cardinals, lowering his season ERA to 3.36. He's been quietly dominant now for two months, boasting a 2.28 ERA and 36 strikeouts over his last 55 1/3 innings (eight starts) dating back to the beginning of June. The 28-year-old southpaw is more than just a streamer at this point. He's pitching into the seventh inning pretty much every time out, with reliable run-prevention and an elevated strikeout rate over his career norms. Get him signed up in all standard mixed leagues.