This year's World Baseball Classic will be remembered for years as one of the best yet, but it will be memorable for some players for different reasons. Jose Altuve had been the top second baseman in SportsLine's 2023 Fantasy baseball rankings, but he fractured his thumb when he was hit by a pitch while playing for Venezuela, and is now expected to miss the first two months of the season. For those that haven't drafted yet, how should you adjust your 2023 Fantasy baseball draft strategy with Altuve starting the season on the DL?
Mauricio Dubon is slated to fill in for Altuve until he returns, but he only hit .208 for Houston last season after being traded from San Francisco. Rather than hoping for elite plug-and-play production from Altuve's direct replacement in Houston, the better strategy is finding an alternative elsewhere using 2023 Fantasy baseball tiers. If you're looking for 2023 Fantasy baseball advice, be sure to check out the 2023 Fantasy baseball cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.
Last season, SportsLine's Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts, including Reds first baseman Joey Votto. The team at SportsLine was all over Votto as a Fantasy bust from the start after a resurgent 2021 season that saw him going as one of the top 12 first basemen off the board in 2022 Fantasy baseball drafts. After slashing .266/.375/.563 with 36 homers and 99 RBI the year prior, Votto slashed .205/.319/.370 with 11 home runs and 41 RBI in 2022. He finished outside the top 45 players at his position and anybody who followed SportsLine's advice avoided a major headache.
Their model is powered by the same people who powered projections for all three major Fantasy sites. And that same group is sharing its 2023 Fantasy baseball rankings and cheat sheets over at SportsLine, helping you find Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts long before your competition. Their cheat sheets, available for leagues on many major sites, are updated multiple times every day.
Any time more MLB news comes out about the updated 2023 MLB schedule or Fantasy baseball injuries, the team at SportsLine updates its projections. Go to SportsLine now to see these proven Fantasy baseball cheat sheets.
Top 2023 Fantasy baseball 2B rankings
Here's a look at SportsLine's top three 2023 Fantasy baseball 2B picks:
1. Whit Merrifield, Toronto Blue Jays: Merrifield returned from a quad injury in early March to get going on his first spring with Toronto. Through his first 11 games, he hit .333 with a home run, seven RBI and a pair of stolen bases. In a Blue Jays lineup highlighted with power, Merrifield should keep the offense moving, as he has hit at least 40 doubles in three of his seven seasons in the majors.
2. Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers: Semien matched his career-high in plate appearances last season (724) and led the majors in at bats (657). He made contact on 87.6% of the swings he took at pitches through the strike zone, and finished with the second-lowest strikeout rate of his career (16.6%). From a pure volume perspective, Semien should be a productive fit on any Fantasy roster.
3. Jake Cronenworth, San Diego Padres: Cronenworth should have plenty of opportunities to stack up RBI in the Padres' loaded lineup this season. Last year, Cronenworth hit .289 with five homers and 69 RBI with men in scoring position. Cronen also hit ground balls at the lowest rate of his career (35.8%) and drew walks at his highest rate (10.2%). See more top Fantasy baseball 2B here.
Top 2023 Fantasy baseball catcher rankings
Here's a look at SportsLine's top three 2023 Fantasy baseball catcher picks:
1. J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies: The 31-year-old hit 22 home runs and stole 21 bases while finishing with a .276 average last season. He is not only one of the fastest catchers in the MLB, but he is also one of the fastest among all players. Realmuto has never played fewer than 125 games in a full season, giving him the consistency needed to be worth drafting first at his position.
2. Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers: His price tag is significantly lower than Realmuto, but he bats in the middle of a loaded lineup. Smith hit 24 home runs and drove in 87 runs in 2022, consistently making solid contact. The 27-year-old has been used strategically as a designated hitter, so longevity should not be an issue.
3. Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals: Some regression was expected last year following a career year in 2021, and it did not help that he only played in 114 games due to injuries. However, Perez still hit 23 home runs with 76 RBI and 48 runs. He is capable of hitting 30 homers this season, and some time at designated hitter should help him reach that goal this year. See more top Fantasy baseball catchers and be sure to check out the Fantasy baseball tiers for each position here.
How to find proven 2023 Fantasy baseball rankings, advice
SportsLine's model is also high on a surprising starting pitcher who lands in the top 10 of its positional rankings. This player is barely going off the board in the top 125 picks, but is projected to outperform starters such as Aaron Nola, Shane McClanahan and Brandon Woodruff. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.
So how should your 2023 Fantasy baseball tiers look and when exactly should you be targeting each position? And which starting pitcher is coming from off-the-radar to finish as one of the top 10 players at his position? Visit SportsLine now to get 2023 Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Joey Votto's disappointing season, and find out.