Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2020: Sleepers from advanced model that predicted Kenta Maeda’s strong season

The Boston Red Sox were already attempting to reshape their Opening Day roster without All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts and reliable starter David Price when spring training began. But when ace lefty Chris Sale reported with pneumonia and then developed an elbow injury, his future as a Fantasy star was as cloudy as it gets. Sale, who last March signed a five-year, $145 million contract extension, was ultimately diagnosed with a flexor strain instead, but where should he be in your 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings?

Determining where Sale fits in your 2020 Fantasy baseball picks could be challenging on your own. And because success in Fantasy baseball means finding value in lesser-known players during the middle and late rounds of drafts, landing the top 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers could be the difference between winning your league and losing it. Before you go on the clock, check out the 2020 Fantasy baseball cheat sheets and rankings from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last season, SportsLine’s Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball sleepers, including Kenta Maeda. The 31-year-old was the No. 52 starting pitcher drafted on average in CBS Sports Fantasy baseball leagues in 2019, but wound up returning value as a starter and reliever. Maeda went 10-8 with a 4.04 ERA and struck out 169 while also earning three saves later in the year to finish as the No. 41 starting pitcher in standard leagues.

The team at SportsLine was all over Maeda as a Fantasy sleeper 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.

In fact, 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: Angels second baseman Tommy La Stella. The six-year veteran enjoyed a breakout year as an Angel in 2019, hitting .295 with 16 home runs and 49 runs scored in just 80 games. La Stella also made the American League All-Star team, but missed the game and effectively the rest of the season with a broken leg.

The Angels were impressed enough by La Stella that they gave him a raise from $1.35 million to $3.25 million instead of going to arbitration. La Stella’s remarkable .832 OPS in 2019 has a lot to do with that, as well as his ability to play second (his natural position), third and first base. Los Angeles is high on La Stella, and so is the model, ranking him as the fifth-best second baseman in MLB despite a 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP closer to 15th at his position. 

Another sleeper that SportsLine’s Fantasy baseball rankings 2020 are extremely high on: Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi. The son of former MLB All-Star Raul Mondesi had an eye-popping rookie season with 14 home runs and 32 stolen bases in just a half-season while posting an .804 OPS. That set up what many thought would be a monster year in 2019, but a rising strikeout rate and a 61-point dip in ISO left him with a pretty pedestrian .263/.291/.424 slash line. 

However, his speed is well-established after he stole 43 bases last season, and we saw a glimpse of 20-homer power. If he can tap into that power with more lift and cut down the strikeout rate, we could see Mondesi put together league-winning numbers. That’s why the model lists him as the No. 6 shortstop in its Fantasy baseball rankings 2020 despite the fact that he’s been the 12th shortstop drafted on average in CBS Sports Fantasy baseball leagues.

How to find proven 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings

SportsLine is also high on a first baseman with a Fantasy baseball ADP outside the top 20 that finishes ahead of studs like Josh Bell and Edwin Encarnacion as a top-five player. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing. 

So which 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy Baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Kenta Maeda’s huge breakout last season, and find out.

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