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Pickups of the Day: Miller Time

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 2: Mason Miller #57 of the Oakland Athletics pitches during the game against the Seattle Mariners at RingCentral Coliseum on May 2, 2023 in Oakland, California. The Mariners defeated the Athletics 2-1. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)

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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 the return of a pair of intriguing pitching prospects in Oakland and Los Angeles, respectively.

Mason Miller, SP, Athletics
Available in 88 percent of Yahoo leagues

There aren’t a ton of quality streaming options on Monday’s slate, but Miller certainly fits the bill. The electrifying 25-year-old right-hander will take the ball on Monday against the division-leading Astros and represents an intriguing streaming option for fantasy managers. It’s a daunting matchup on paper, especially since Houston’s lineup ranks second in baseball with an .847 OPS since the Midsummer Classic, but he offers enough strikeout upside to make an impact. There will likely be some workload limitations since he’s coming off a lengthy absence due to a right elbow injury, but he looked phenomenal last Wednesday in his return to the majors, striking out three batters over two perfect frames in relief against the Blue Jays. There’s some real risk here, but Miller’s raw talent is worth rostering in all fantasy formats until further notice. He’s going to be an extremely popular sleeper candidate in fantasy drafts next spring.

Gavin Stone, SP, Dodgers
Available in 98 percent of Yahoo leagues

Stone hasn’t exactly impressed in a handful of big league outings this season for the Dodgers, posting a calamitous 10.50 ERA, 2.28 WHIP and 10/8 K/BB ratio across 18 innings (five appearances, three starts). However, the 24-year-old top pitching prospect has had some success of late for Triple-A Oklahoma City, allowing three earned runs or fewer in five consecutive appearances (three starts) since August 4. He’s also notched at least seven strikeouts in four of those outings.

According to Lance Brozdowski of Marquee Sports Network, Stone has recently added a sinker to his repertoire and also altered his slider into more of a cutter. The sinker/changeup combination might give him a different look against left-handed hitters moving forward that works better than his previous four-seam/changeup approach. With veteran southpaw Clayton Kershaw having his next start pushed back a few extra days due to an ongoing shoulder issue, Stone is slated to take the ball for Monday’s series opener against the Padres, who rank 13th in OPS since the All-Star break, despite a star-studded lineup. He’s too risky to trust in shallow mixed leagues, but might be a worthwhile gamble for fantasy managers in deeper mixed leagues.