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Week 17 Waiver Wire - Second Base (2B) and Shortstop (SS)

Though the All-Star break only concluded a few days ago, the season's first half was a bit longer than usual. Most teams only have about 60 games remaining at this point. If you're in a head-to-head league, you've got even less time to make your postseason push. Fortunately, we're here to help.

Every Sunday until the end of the season, we'll look at the best middle infielders available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. These are based on standard 5x5 scoring; adjust accordingly for your specific setup.

Let’s get to it. Below are your second base and shortstop waiver wire targets for Week 17.

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Week 17 Middle Infield (MI) Waiver Wire Targets

Rougned Odor, 2B, Texas Rangers (49% owned)

Entering play on June 20, Odor was hitting a putrid .212/.292/.309. He’d homered just once and was 1-for-6 in stolen base attempts. Not what you want from a guy you drafted at all, let alone close to within the top 100 picks. Since that day, however, the 24-year-old has slashed .307/.384/.511 with five home runs and six steals in seven attempts. Barring a truly miraculous second half, he won’t reach 30 bombs for the third straight season, but Odor at least looks like a quality major leaguer again.

Jason Kipnis, 2B/OF, Cleveland Indians (34% owned)

Kipnis didn’t require much of an investment at the draft table this spring, but his performance out of the gate was even worse than Odor’s. The veteran’s line sat at .178/.268/.254 when play concluded on May 25, and he had one measly homer to his name. Kipnis went deep the following night, however, and in the intervening two months he’s quietly been excellent: .273/.359/.500 with nine homers and four stolen bases. Cleveland has outscored every team in baseball save for the Red Sox, and Kipnis is one of the few bats on the squad who can be widely found on the waiver wire.

Kike Hernandez, 2B/3B/SS/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (29% owned)

Hernandez won’t give you any help in batting average (currently hitting .231, career .235) or run much (six career steals). He has, however, unlocked his power this season. The Dodgers’ Swiss Army knife has already hit 17 homers, easily a career best. In fact, the next time he leaves the yard, he’ll have tied his total from the prior two seasons combined. More than half of his home runs have come in the last six weeks, and during that time he’s also cut down on strikeouts to produce a .271/.352/.589 batting line.

Ben Zobrist, 2B/OF, Chicago Cubs (24% owned)

If it’s batting average you’re after, Zobrist is pacing toward his best mark in nearly a decade. The ageless wonder is hitting .293 and has drawn more walks than strikeouts, which has helped him return to fantasy relevance this year despite modest pop (six home runs) and speed (2-for-5 in stolen base attempts). He’s moved around quite a bit, but generally has hit in the top half of the order for the Cubs’ top-five offense. That’s allowed him to post solid run production.

Jorge Polanco, SS, Minnesota Twins (11% owned)

It appears that many fantasy owners lost track of Polanco, who returned from a PED suspension earlier this month. His numbers since returning don’t jump off the page (.262/.338/.377 with no homers in 16 games), but he does already have three stolen bases and is running a double-digit walk rate. The 25-year-old drew some buzz this spring prior to his suspension after hitting .316/.377/.553 with 10 homers and seven steals over the final two months of last season. If you’re interested in betting on that breakout, you can do so for free in nine of ten leagues currently.


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