The 2020 MLB schedule is set and while the league will continue to face coronavirus-related obstacles, the hope is to get in a truncated 60-game regular season with teams playing 10 games apiece against their four divisional foes and four interleague games each against their counterparts in the other league. There will also be expanded rosters and a universal DH, creating a lot of variables for Fantasy baseball owners as they finalize their 2020 Fantasy baseball draft prep.
The Dodgers sent some top prospects and Alex Verdugo away in exchange for a one-year rental of Mookie Betts this offseason, so they'll certainly be relieved to get to deploy the former AL MVP. But with Betts switching from the American League to the National League, where exactly does he belong in the 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings and when should you be targeting him in your upcoming drafts? Before you go on the clock, be sure to check out the Fantasy baseball rankings 2020 and cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine for tips on potential 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts.
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: Pirates starting pitcher Joe Musgrove. The 27-year-old threw a career-high 170.1 innings last season in Pittsburgh and put up mediocre numbers with an 11-12 record and a 4.44 ERA. However, he did have a career-high 21.9 percent strikeout rate and his slider has continued to develop as his go-to strikeout pitch.
Musgrove improved his slider spin rate from 2415 rpm to 2495 rpm while backing down the velocity (84.9 mph to 83.3 mph) to help improve his whiff rate from 37.3 percent to 39.3 percent. As a result opposing hitters slugged just .240 against Musgrove's slider. If he can continue to hone the pitch and find more opportunities to throw it, you should see Musgrove's overall stat line improve too. That's why the model ranks him ahead of Yu Darvish, Robbie Ray and Zac Gallen, who are all being drafted at least four rounds earlier on average.
Top 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts
One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts the model is all over: Cardinals third baseman Tommy Edman. The 24-year-old made his MLB debut last summer and exceeded all expectations by hitting 11 home runs and stealing 15 bases while slashing .304/.350/.500 over 92 games. Edman hit a total of 18 home runs between triple-A and the MLB, showcasing previously unseen power after hitting no more than seven home runs in his three previous minor-league seasons.
With a .346 BABIP that looked in line with his minor league numbers, there's no glaring reason to expect any significant regression in his second season. And the potential to improve on an average exit velocity (87.2 mph) that ranked in the bottom quarter of baseball last season leaves a lot of upside in his game. That's why the model ranks Edman ahead of fellow third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is being drafted at least four rounds earlier on average.
Top 2020 Fantasy baseball busts
One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball busts the model is fading: Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies. The 23-year-old posted career-highs in batting average (.295), RBI (86) and stolen bases (19) last season and tied his career-high in home runs (24), but those numbers were inflated a touch by a .325 BABIP that is 18 points higher than his career average.
Albies has also had some issues hitting breaking balls (.418 slugging percentage) and his chase rate has risen in each year that he's been in the Major Leagues. And with developing power, he's a candidate to strikeout more frequently given those numbers. That's part of the reason why the model ranks him as the No. 7 second baseman in its Fantasy baseball rankings 2020 despite the fact that he's been the third player at the position off the board on average.
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.