Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2020: Sleepers from top simulation that nailed Kenta Maeda’s strong season

If not for the coronavirus pandemic, we’d be nearly a month into the new MLB schedule. Instead, the season hasn’t started and owners everywhere are still researching to find potential 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers. Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera was once the consensus top hitter in the game, but now owners are wondering if there might be any value in the 37-year-old after three below-average seasons in a row. Where should he be slotted among your 2020 Fantasy baseball picks?

Meanwhile, with Chris Sale, Noah Syndergaard and Luis Severino out for the year after having Tommy John surgeries, owners will be curious to see who wins their vacated spots in starting rotations. A reliable set of 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings can help you sort through very challenging 2020 Fantasy baseball draft prep considering all the variables in play. 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: Reds first baseman Joey Votto. The 2010 NL MVP has been thrown into a similar boat as Cabrera after multiple frustrating seasons offensively. However, while he’s admittedly past his prime, Votto has the benefit of hitting in the middle of what should be a vastly improved lineup in 2020 after Cincinnati added Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakas and Japanese star Shogo Akiyama in free agency. 

There are also peripheral numbers that indicate Votto has the potential to find middle ground between being an MVP contender and posting a career-low .768 OPS a season ago. Votto’s 88.8 mph average exit velocity was his best since 2016, while a .313 BABIP in 2019 was nearly 40 points below his career average. Votto should get better batted-ball luck and a better lineup should allow him to be patient, which is why the model ranks him ahead of players like Rhys Hoskins, Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Olson, who are going at least five rounds earlier on average.

Another sleeper that SportsLine’s Fantasy baseball rankings 2020 are extremely high on: Cubs catcher Josh Phegley. Although Phegley isn’t likely to upend starter Wilson Contreras anytime soon, he gives the Cubs the best catcher rotation in baseball. Phegley recorded 12 home runs, 18 doubles and 62 RBIs for the Oakland Athletics last year, all career-highs. 

An eight-year veteran, Phegley played a career-best 106 games in 2019 and also scored a career-high 44 runs. Phegley also caught Mike Fiers’ second career no-hitter and the Cubs are high on his pitch-framing improvements during spring training. The model is also high on Phegley, ranking him as the No. 9 catcher in the majors, ahead of full-time starters like Yadier Molina, Wilson Ramos and Robinson Chirinos despite all three having a better 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP.

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. You can see who it is here.

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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