With MLB Opening Day 2023 scheduled for Thursday, Fantasy baseball owners across the country are scrambling to prepare for their 2023 Fantasy baseball drafts, and it's already been a hectic spring. The World Baseball Classic concluded last week and two prominent stars will miss significant time after suffering injuries while representing their countries. Mets closer Edwin Diaz suffered a season-ending knee injury while celebrating a Puerto Rico victory and Jose Altuve will miss 8-10 weeks minimum after being hit in the hand while playing for Venezuela.
Altuve has a 2023 Fantasy baseball ADP of 82.42 but has plummeted down draft boards since news of his injury. So where exactly would it be safe to target Altuve and add an MVP-caliber bat for the later stages of the season? A reliable set of 2023 Fantasy baseball rankings can help you make those decisions while also identifying potential 2023 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts. Before going on the clock in any 2023 Fantasy baseball drafts, be sure to see the Fantasy baseball rankings 2023 and 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 RBIs 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 sleepers
One of the 2023 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: Rockies catcher Elias Diaz. He got off to a hot start during spring training, going 11 for 35 (.314) with two home runs and six RBI in the Cactus League. Diaz is expected to be Colorado's primary starter behind the plate, hoping to improve on his .228 batting average from last season.
He has hit 27 home runs over the previous two seasons, despite playing just 211 combined games. Diaz plays in the most hitter-friendly ballpark in the majors, giving him an edge over similar players at his position. SportsLine's model has him ranked above catchers Cal Raleigh and William Contreras, who are both being taken ahead of Diaz in average drafts.
Top 2023 Fantasy baseball breakouts
One of the 2023 Fantasy baseball breakouts the model is jumping on: Rockies shortstop Ezequiel Tovar. The 21-year-old Venezuelan is a consensus top 25 prospect entering the 2023 MLB season and the expectation is that he'll be the everyday shortstop for Colorado this season. Tovar has developing power with above-average speed and a high-level hit tool that should translate to big numbers at Coors Field.
Tovar slashed .319/.387/.540 in 71 games last season while playing in Double-A and Triple-A then saw nine games of action in the majors as a September call-up. He had 14 home runs and 17 stolen bases in that half-season in the minors, and that power should play up at baseball's most hitter-friendly park. That's why Tovar is ranked ahead of Nico Hoerner and Anthony Volpe, who are both being drafted at least two rounds earlier on average.
Top 2023 Fantasy baseball busts
As for players to avoid, the model has pinpointed Guardians infielder Andres Gimenez. He certainly raised his stock after his All-Star campaign last season, but he is a prime regression candidate this year. Despite his efficiency at the plate, Gimenez only barrelled pitches 6.2% of the time and had an underwhelming run-scoring rate of 26%. Overall, the Guardians seemed to punch above their weight as a team last year, and that could catch up with them in a retooled AL Central.
Gimenez has hit just .227 during the spring, and only has one RBI to show for himself through nine games. Gimenez also participated for Venezuela during the World Baseball Classic but finished with just a single run batted in. The model predicts that lack of production will continue this season, and others being drafted after him like Ketel Marte, Gleyber Torres and Kolten Wong are all better 2023 Fantasy baseball values.
How to find proven 2023 Fantasy baseball rankings
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 which 2023 Fantasy baseball busts, breakouts, and sleepers should you target or fade in your drafts? 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.