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As the second half of the baseball season begins later this week, I'm on the hunt for some waiver-wire sleepers to change my luck. Whenever I go shopping, I start with the 30-day filter on available players, and it turns out there have been some surprisingly good performers in the last month who, for whatever reason, remain available.
Here are just a few of the bargains I noticed:
Alfonso Soriano: It has been clear for a while that Sori gets hot with the weather, and nine of his 16 HRs have come in the last month. It's not likely he'll be traded, but it could be a bonus for his RBIs if that happens. Available in 46% of Yahoo! leagues.
Jayson Werth: Coming off of injury, Werth has only been active for a few weeks, but is hitting close to .400 during that span, and is still a multi-category talent. Available in 38% of Yahoo! leagues.
Ichiro Suzuki: Believe it or not, Ichiro was hitting in the .250s a little more than a month ago, but he has battled back to .283 overall. Though you should never pick him for his power, he also already has six home runs, more than he has had for any full season since 2009. Available in 47% of Yahoo! leagues.
Koji Uehara: He was sort of the last man standing when other closers were injured in Boston, but he has seven saves in the last month, with an ERA of just 0.63 and 20 strikeouts in 14 innings. Available in 38% of Yahoo! leagues.
Jeremy Hefner: In the shadow of Matt Harvey's success in New York, Hefner has gone unnoticed, but is having a great month: Three wins, a 1.89 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 31 strikeouts since mid-June. Available in in 87% of Yahoo! leagues.
Matt Garza: It is shocking to me both that Garza hasn't been traded yet and that his fantasy value remains a secret. He has five wins since returning from injury, a 1.24 ERA over the last month, and 38 strikeouts. He could very easily have six or even seven wins already if he played for a better team - something which is bound to happen very soon. Available in 29% of Yahoo! leagues.
* CBSSports.com forecasts some second-half studs and duds.
* SI.com looks at the best pitchers of the first half.
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