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Pickups of the Day: Cutch is Clutch

Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Rotoworld’s brand-new Pickups of the Day column is designed to help fantasy managers uncover a handful of widely-available targets over the course of the season. It could be a breakout candidate, a prospect stash, an injury replacement, a pitcher with a favorable matchup or week, a player who is due some better luck, or any other number of scenarios. If there’s value to be found on the waiver wire, we will find it and bring it your way.

Today’s edition is a blast from the past – taking a look at former fantasy superstars that all of a sudden look like they could be relevant again for the 2023 season.


Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates

Available in 64 percent of Yahoo leagues

The former National League MVP certainly looks to be rejuvenated in his return to the Pirates for the 2023 season. The 36-year-old is slashing a terrific .310/.417/.586 with four homers, nine RBI and three stolen bases in his first 17 games.

He’s starting every night and batting third in the Pirates’ lineup, which should continue to lead to ample RBI opportunities with Bryan Reynolds and Ke’Bryan Hayes hitting in front of him. If we stripped the name away, and just looked at the production that he has had so far plus his lineup spot and playing opportunity, and you’d think that this player would be close to universally-rostered in mixed leagues.

That’s not the case though. Fantasy managers are likely holding the last few seasons of middling production against McCutchen – thinking that he has no upside and can’t possibly continue to produce at this rate. We’ve seen crazier things happen. Being back home in Pittsburgh – on a 12-7 ballclub that has greatly exceeded expectations out of the gate – could be enough to light this sort of fire under him for the duration of the season.

Given his track record and his unbelievable production through the first three weeks of the season, it’s criminal that McCutchen is still available in more than 60 percent of all Yahoo leagues.

Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, Tigers

Available in 84 percent of Yahoo leagues

Eduardo Rodriguez arrived in Motown with massive expectations when he inked a five-year, $77 million contract prior to the 2022 season. He wound up only making 17 mediocre starts with the team as injuries and off-field issues brought his 2022 season to a crashing halt.

He’s back fully healthy and focused heading into 2023 though – and he has looked awfully impressive through his first four starts. The 30-year-old southpaw has registered a 3.00 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and a 19/5 K/BB ratio over his first 24 innings. That includes eight shutout innings and 10 strikeouts in a victory over the Guardians on Tuesday.

Sure, the Tigers’ offense is going to struggle to score him runs on a consistent basis, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a viable mixed league option – or at a minimum a nice choice for those that are streaming pitchers. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s lined up for two starts next week – against the Brewers in Milwaukee and home against the Orioles.

He’s worthy of a flier while he’s pitching well, with the possibility that he develops into a solid middle of the rotation starter on your fantasy staff. Keep in mind, he did win 19 games and strike out 213 batters during the 2019 campaign -- so we’ve seen the upside that is there.