Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2019: Best sleepers from model that nailed Mike Moustakas' strong season
SportsLine simulated the 2019 MLB season 10,000 times and identified must-draft Fantasy Baseball sleepers
The 2019 MLB season is almost here, with the MLB Japan Opening Series between the Athletics and Mariners beginning on Wednesday and league-wide MLB Opening Day scheduled for March 28. Fantasy baseball draft season is in overdrive and owners everywhere have a lot to digest from this offseason with Manny Machado signing a $300 million deal with the Padres, Bryce Harper getting a record $330 million from the Phillies and recent reports indicating that Mike Trout will break that record with a $430 million extension of his own with the Angels. Of course, those are established Fantasy baseball presences, but this year will likely be won and lost by how well owners identify the potential 2019 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts. So before you draft, be sure to check out the 2019 Fantasy baseball rankings from the model at SportsLine.
Last season, SportsLine's Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball sleepers, including Brewers third baseman Mike Moustakas. Drafted No. 137 overall on average, Moustakas hit 28 home runs and drove in 95 runs, the most of his career, to finish as the No. 45 overall player in all of Fantasy.
The team at SportsLine was all over Moustakas as a Fantasy breakout from the start. Their model had him listed much higher than expert consensus rankings, and anyone who listened to their advice was well positioned for a league title.
Their model is powered by the same people who powered projections for all three major Fantasy sites. And that same group is sharing its 2019 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 an injury occurs or there's a change on a depth chart, the team at SportsLine updates its rankings.
In fact, when it came to ranking players in Fantasy football, SportsLine's Projection Model beat human experts last season when there were big differences in ranking. And the model was the closest to the hole overall, meaning it best pinpointed where every player would finish each week. That could literally be the difference between winning your league or going home empty-handed.
One Fantasy baseball sleeper the model is all over: Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas. Mikolas has been the No. 28 starting pitcher in ADP so far this season, but SportsLine projects he'll finish as the No. 19 starting pitcher in Fantasy baseball for the 2019 season. That's largely rooted in his exceptional control, as he walked 1.3 batters per nine innings last season.
He doesn't strike out a lot of hitters (6.6 K/9), but he does sit at around 94 with his fastball and has a hard, tight slider to go along with a slower curveball that helped him punch out more hitters in Japan where batters are generally geared towards contact. So Mikolas could see his strikeout numbers climb this season and that should enhance his Fantasy baseball profile.
The 28-year-old spent the majority of his season at shortstop, but he could wind up with eligibility at a number of positions and is likely to play plenty of second base. After a breakout year in 2017, Taylor's numbers came back down to earth last season, but there were also some encouraging developments that most owners are sleeping on entering this season.
Taylor raised his hard-hit contact rate from 32.4 percent to 38.4 percent from 2017 to 2018, while his line-drive rate went from 22.6 percent to 27.5 percent. His BABIP leveled off from .361 to .345, but that's at least one reason to believe he saw the ball better last season than he did in 2017.
Currently, Taylor's ADP is the No. 22 shortstop off the board, but SportsLine's 2019 Fantasy baseball rankings predict he'll finish the season as the No. 14 player at that position. Add in the versatility and there is a lot to like about Taylor's Fantasy prospects for 2019.
SportsLine is also high on a starting pitcher who didn't finish in the top five in Fantasy points at his position last year but is ranked higher than starters like Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale and James Paxton. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing.
So which Fantasy Baseball sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued pitchers can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy Baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Mike Moustakas' huge breakout last season, and find out.
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