Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2020: Sleepers, breakouts, busts from top model that called Bieber’s big year

The 2020 MLB season is almost upon us, headlined by Tuesday’s news that Yankees pitcher Luis Severino will undergo Tommy John surgery. Ever-changing Fantasy baseball injuries mean 2020 Fantasy baseball draft prep could be a challenge, as the combination of high-profile trades, an active MLB free agency period and the debut of several rookies mean owners need to do their homework when crafting their 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings.

Traded stars like Mookie Betts and David Price, as well as free-agent mega-deals like Anthony Rendon’s $245 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels will result in plenty of tough decisions on draft day. Why try to figure out potential 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts, and busts on your own? 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: Yankees first baseman DJ LeMahieu. The nine-year veteran made his first season in the Bronx a memorable one, as he hit .327 (his second-best average for a season) with a career-best 26 home runs and 102 RBIs. LeMahieu’s 109 runs scored were also the best in his career, as was his .518 slugging percentage. 

Part of LeMahieu’s value lies in his defensive versatility, as he earned 281 at-bats in 2019 as a second baseman, but also had 186 at-bats as a third baseman and 130 as a first baseman. A career .302 hitter, the Yankees expect LeMahieu to produce in a contract year before he becomes a free agent at the end of 2020. SportsLine’s model ranks LeMahieu as the No. 2 second baseman, ahead of Ozzie Albies, Whit Merrifield, Max Muncy and Keston Hiura, all of whom are being drafted earlier.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts the model is all over: Reds right fielder Aristides Aquino. Not too long ago, Aquino was just another minor leaguer in the Reds system, and was left exposed in the Rule 5 draft in December 2018. But he returned to the Reds organization, and tore it up in the first part of 2019, earning a call-up Aug. 1 when Yasiel Puig was dealt to the Indians. 

The result: Aquino was the first player to hit eight home runs in his first 12 games, set the rookie record for most home runs in a month with 14, and ended up with 19 homers and 47 home runs in 56 games. He also cut his strikeout rate down from 28.8 percent in Double-A in 2017 to 23.4 percent in the majors last year. That’s why the model ranks Aquino ahead of standouts like Aaron Judge, Austin Meadows and Max Kepler in its Fantasy baseball right fielder rankings, all of whom are being drafted five to seven rounds earlier according to the latest 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball busts

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball busts the model is fading: Mets left fielder Jeff McNeil. The 27-year-old from Long Beach State is coming off a 2019 that saw him hit .318 with 23 home runs and 75 RBIs. That effort earned him an All-Star Game nod, but his season ended on a down note, as he was hit by a pitch in late September and required surgery to repair a broken right wrist.

McNeil has an unfortunate penchant for getting hit by pitches and was plunked 21 times in 2019, fifth-most in baseball. And while the Mets like him at third, it is possible he could once again play multiple positions on the diamond, movement that could limit his ability at the plate. That’s why the model has McNeil ranked as its No. 17 left fielder despite the fact that he’s been the fifth 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. 

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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