The American League Central hasn't had a repeat winner since the Twins won in 2019 and 2020. Minnesota returned to the top of the division last season, producing Fantasy baseball breakouts like outfielders Max Kepler and Michael A. Taylor. The AL Central isn't often thought of as one of the most dominant divisions in baseball, but it does feature young talents such as Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson, Guardians second baseman Andres Gimenez and Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. How highly should you covet these options entering 2024 Fantasy baseball drafts, and who may be some other options to consider when looking for 2024 Fantasy baseball breakouts or 2024 Fantasy baseball sleepers?
Spring training games begin this week and it's never too early to get a jump start on researching for 2024 Fantasy baseball drafts. After another busy offseason filled with player movements, who has found themselves in a new home and better position to climb up 2024 Fantasy baseball rankings? Before going on the clock in any 2024 Fantasy baseball drafts, be sure to see the Fantasy baseball rankings 2024 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 Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon. The team at SportsLine was all over Rodon as a Fantasy bust from the start after he signed a six-year, $162 million contract in the offseason. Rodon posted a 27-13 record with a 2.67 ERA and 422 strikeouts over 310 2/3 innings in 2021 and 2022, but the model predicted he'd finish well below his ADP of 76.88. The result: Rodon made only 14 starts and went 3-8 with a 6.85 ERA 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 2024 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 trades, signings or Fantasy baseball injuries, the team at SportsLine updates its projections. Go to SportsLine now to see these proven Fantasy baseball cheat sheets.
Top 2024 Fantasy baseball sleepers
One of the 2024 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: Diamondbacks designated hitter Joc Pederson. A two-time NL all-star best known for his time with the Dodgers, Pederson spent the last two seasons in San Francisco platooning as a DH/OF against right-handed pitching and he slashed .255/.351/.470 with 38 home runs and 121 RBI in 858 plate appearances during that span.
Now he joins the Diamondbacks on a one-year contract worth $12.5 million and should be in the lineup every day against right-handed pitching in a ballpark where his power should play much better than it did in cavernous Oracle Park. Pederson's hard-hit contact rate of 52.4% and his average exit velocity of 92.2 MPH both rank in the top 5% of Major League Baseball and those are big reasons the model ranks him ahead of Eloy Jimenez and Justin Turner, who are being drafted nearly 200 picks earlier than Pederson on average. See more Fantasy baseball sleepers at SportsLine.
Top 2024 Fantasy baseball breakouts
One of the 2024 Fantasy baseball breakouts the model is jumping on: Rangers outfielder Evan Carter. The 21-year-old made his major league debut on Sept. 8 last season and had five home runs, 12 RBI and 15 runs scored over 23 regular-season games with the Rangers. He had a slash line of .306/.413/.645 over his first month for an OPS of 1.058. Only 18 players had more home runs than Carter, a second-round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, from Sept. 8 through the end of the regular season.
Carter continued that success and was one of Texas' best hitters en route to winning the 2023 World Series. He started all 17 games in left field, sporting a .300/.417/.500 slash line with six RBI over 17 postseason games. He set a postseason record with nine doubles in a single postseason and is slated to bat in the middle of the Texas lineup this season. The Rangers play in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball and ranked third in the sport in runs scored. The model projects Carter to put together a strong year in his first full major league season and benefit from being in the middle of the Texas lineup. See more Fantasy baseball breakouts at SportsLine.
Top 2024 Fantasy baseball busts
As for players to avoid, the model has pinpointed Diamondbacks 3B/DH Eugenio Suarez as one of its biggest 2024 Fantasy baseball busts. Now in the final season of a seven-year, $66 million contract he signed when he was with the Reds, Suarez was acquired from the Mariners via trade in November and the Diamondbacks are hoping that he'll fill a power need in a lineup built primarily around speed and defense.
Suarez has hit at least 20 home runs in each of his last seven full seasons and he's had four 30-homer seasons along the way. However, he's also led his respective league in strikeouts in three of the last five seasons and his .391 slugging percentage in 2023 was his lowest since his rookie season in Detroit in 2014. Suarez should benefit from a more homer-friendly ballpark in 2024 but the model is still skeptical, ranking him behind Colt Keith and DJ LeMahieu, who are going at least three rounds earlier on average. See more Fantasy baseball busts at SportsLine.
How to find proven 2024 Fantasy baseball rankings
SportsLine's model is also high on a surprising starting pitcher who bounces back in the top 10 of its positional rankings. This player is going outside the top 100 picks but is projected to outperform starters going in the top 35 like Corbin Burnes, Logan Webb and Aaron Nola. This pick could be the difference between winning your league or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.
So which 2024 Fantasy baseball busts, breakouts and sleepers should you target or fade in your drafts? Visit SportsLine now to get 2024 Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Carlos Rodon's disappointing season, and find out.