After having perhaps the most contentious negotiations to decide how and when to get on the field, the 2020 MLB season is finally set to get underway on July 23. The coronavirus pandemic, however, will keep several big names sidelined and out of the 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings. Ryan Zimmerman, Buster Posey, Ian Desmond, Nick Markakis and David Price are some of the notable names to opt-out of the 2020 season. Fantasy baseball players are now scrambling to figure out how to set their 2020 Fantasy baseball strategy as the list keeps growing.
There are plenty of other factors to consider as well. A universal designated hitter will create more at-bats in the National League, while managers will have to figure out how to utilize their starters in the abbreviated 60-game schedule. With so many factors to consider as you're searching for the top 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts, be sure to check out the Fantasy baseball rankings 2020 and cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.
Last season, SportsLine's Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball breakouts, including Cleveland Indians All-Star starting pitcher Shane Bieber. The 24-year-old broke through with a 15-8 record, 3.28 ERA and 259 strikeouts over 214.1 innings to finish as the No. 5 starting pitcher in all of Fantasy baseball even though he was being drafted in the 15th round in standard 12-team leagues.
The team at SportsLine was all over Bieber 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 2020 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 2020 MLB schedule or players dropping out, the team at SportsLine updates its projections. Go to SportsLine now to see these proven Fantasy baseball cheat sheets.
Top 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers
One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson. At one point included in the three-team Mookie Betts trade over the offseason, that deal was eventually modified, leaving Pederson with the Dodgers to open the season. Fantasy baseball players have been fading him in drafts, waiting until almost the 200th pick to select him on average.
And while the lefty is a liability against left-handed pitching, he has jaw-dropping power against right-handed pitching. He hit 36 home runs against righties last year, making him an extremely valuable supplier of power this late in drafts. SportsLine's model ranks him ahead of outfielders such as Jeff McNeil and Giancarlo Stanton, both of whom are going off the board just outside the top-100 picks.
Top 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts
One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts the model is all over: Indians starting pitcher Aaron Civale. The 24-year-old broke into the majors late last season and impressed over 10 starts with a 2.34 ERA over 57.2 innings. With a six-pitch repertoire that includes three fastball variations, a changeup and two breaking balls, Civale kept hitters off-balance extremely effectively in 2019, allowing just a 2.4 percent barrel rate that was among the top one percent of all starting pitchers in the MLB.
And even though he doesn't have dominant swing-and-miss stuff, his sinker was so effective that opponents had a slugging percentage of just .288 against it and he didn't give up a single home run on that pitch. That's why the model ranks him ahead of Madison Bumgarner and Corey Kluber, both of whom are going at least five rounds earlier on average in standard 12-team CBS Sports Fantasy baseball leagues.
Top 2020 Fantasy baseball busts
One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball busts the model is fading: Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson. Minnesota won the bidding war for the veteran slugger this offseason with a four-year, $92 million contract. The Twins are looking for instant punch in their lineup from a player who hit 37 home runs in Atlanta last year.
But SportsLine's model isn't high on Donaldson at his current 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP of No. 77 overall. He's projected to produce less than Eugenio Suarez (ADP of 115), and just a little bit more than other later-round options like Eduardo Escobar (118) and Justin Turner (153). Don't reach for Donaldson, a high-risk option who has stayed healthy for a full season just once since 2016.
How to find proven 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings
SportsLine's model is also all over a surprising first baseman. He's barely being picked in the top 100, but is ranked No. 2 at his position. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.
So which 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target or fade in your drafts? Visit SportsLine now to get 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Shane Bieber's All-Star season, and find out.