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Pickups of the Day: Lean On Lucchesi

Ohtani's 2024 fantasy value as an exclusive hitter
D.J. Short, Scott Pianowksi ,and Eric Samulski dive into Shohei Ohtani as a first-round pick in their 2024 fantasy baseball mock draft. Does he still pay off that value when removing his pitching stats?

Rotoworld’s 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 features a southpaw making a spot start for New York in Miami and a rookie starter making some noise in Detroit.

Joey Lucchesi, SP, Mets
Available in 92 percent of Yahoo leagues

Lucchesi has been extremely impressive in a pair of recent spot starts in the majors, allowing just one run (zero earned) with a 7/5 K/BB ratio across 12 2/3 innings of work. The 30-year-old southpaw finds himself with an opportunity during the final two weeks of the 2023 campaign to make an impression for the Mets heading into the offseason and is in line for a favorable matchup on Tuesday against the division-rival Marlins at pitcher-friendly loanDepot park. While Miami’s lineup has been one of the hottest in baseball over the past few days, they employ the type of aggressive approach that could be problematic against a crafty southpaw like Lucchesi. They’ve done a ton of damage against left-handers this season, but this feels like a nice spot for Lucchesi to pour some cold water on a sizzling-hot offense. He’s at least worthy of a speculative gamble in deeper mixed leagues as a viable streaming option.

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Sawyer Gipson-Long, SP, Tigers
Available in 90 percent of Yahoo leagues

It’s possible the overwhelming majority of fantasy managers had zero idea who Gipson-Long was as recently as last week when he made his big league debut. The unheralded 25-year-old right-hander has allowed just three runs on six hits with a 16/3 K/BB ratio across 10 innings over a pair of starts since receiving the call to the majors. It’s impossible to overlook the fact that both of those outings came against a pair of squads in the Angels and White Sox, respectively, whose seasons have ostensibly been over for a couple weeks now. Still, he’s gone out and taken care of business. He finds himself in line for another extremely favorable matchup on Friday when he faces off against the rebuilding Athletics in pitcher-friendly Oakland. There’s some risk here given his extremely small sample size, but Gipson-Long represents an interesting streaming option for fantasy managers this week, especially in deeper mixed leagues and AL-only formats.