Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2020: Top sleepers, breakouts, busts from same model that nailed Bieber's big season
SportsLine simulated the entire MLB season 10,000 times and identified Fantasy Baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts.
As states slowly start to open up amid the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, we could see an abbreviated 2020 MLB schedule unfold. That means owners should still be in the thick of their 2020 Fantasy baseball draft prep. A shortened MLB season could put more emphasis on established players who will need less time to prepare, meaning stars who have changed teams like Mookie Betts and David Price could be at a disadvantage.
Will Betts land on his feet in Los Angeles alongside Cody Bellinger? And can Price thrive in the Dodgers rotation along with Clayton Kershaw? These are just a few of the questions owners will have to answer before making their 2020 Fantasy baseball picks. Before you go on the clock in your drafts, be sure to check out the 2020 Fantasy baseball 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 an injury occurs or there's a change on a depth chart, the team at SportsLine updates its Fantasy baseball cheat sheets.
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.
Top 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers
One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: Reds first baseman Joey Votto. The lifelong Red enters his 14th MLB season having hit .261 with 15 home runs, 32 doubles and 79 runs scored in 2019. Last season marked the fifth straight year Votto played in at least 144 games, a span in which he hit 121 of his 284 career home runs.
The extra rest leading up to the 2020 season certainly will help Votto, a career .307 hitter who needs one or two more strong seasons to garner Hall of Fame attention. SportsLine's model is high on Votto, ranking him as the No. 9 first baseman in MLB. That's ahead of players like Rhys Hoskins, Paul Goldschmidt and Edwin Encarnacion, even though all three have a better 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP.
Top 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts
One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts to target: Rangers left fielder Willie Calhoun. The 25-year-old was once a consensus top-100 prospect, but fell off many experts' radars in 2018 after he went from hitting 32 home runs across all levels in 2017 to just 11. However, Calhoun found his power stroke again in 2019, posting a .962 OPS in Triple-A to earn a call-up to Texas in May.
Calhoun proceeded to hit 21 home runs for the Rangers and posted an .848 OPS, but he's just scratching the surface of his potential. Calhoun's 6.8 percent walk rate in Texas was well below his 9.0 percent career average in the minors, while his .262 BABIP was also a far cry from his career minor league BABIP of around .300. We should eventually see a more patient approach from Calhoun, better batted-ball luck, and prodigious power, which should play well in hitter-friendly Globe Life Park. That's why the model ranks him as its No. 2 left fielder despite the fact that he's going in the 13th round on average.
Top 2020 Fantasy baseball busts
One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball busts the model is fading: Padres third baseman Manny Machado. The Padres invested heavily on Machado in 2019, signing him to a 10-year, $300 million contract. But Machado has failed to deliver so far, hitting a career-low .256 with a career-high 128 strikeouts last season. And while Machado belted 32 homers and drive in 85 runs, both marks were his lowest in five seasons.
Machado's potential fantasy baseball owners should also pay attention to the fact that Machado hit only six home runs in the final two weeks of the 2019 season. And Machado couldn't even crack a .200 batting average in September, hitting .193 with 16 strikeouts. That's why the model has him ranked as its No. 13 third baseman despite the fact that he's been the ninth drafted on average in CBS Sports Fantasy baseball leagues.
How to find proven 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings
SportsLine is also fading one of the top 10 catchers off the board, saying he doesn't even crack the top 20 when the season is over. 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.
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