Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2020: Top sleepers, breakouts, busts by model that called Bieber’s big year

The ever-increasing possibility of a shortened 2020 MLB season will bring significant changes to Fantasy baseball strategy. Fewer off days, doubleheaders and an adjusted schedule are just some of the differences that could be in store. It’ll be more important than ever to build a deep, balanced roster that maximizes value from your 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings.

That means avoiding 2020 Fantasy baseball busts and finding the top sleepers and breakouts who will give you a huge edge, regardless how many games ultimately end up being played. 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: Red Sox outfielder Kevin Pillar. He showed off increased power in 2018, hitting a career-best 21 home runs and recording 87 RBIs with the San Francisco Giants. 

Now back in the American League and hitting in a more potent lineup, Pillar has a chance to see his numbers go up even more. Fantasy owners, however, are sleeping on him in drafts, as he has a 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP of 124.4 overall.

SportsLine’s model says you’ll get more production out of Pillar than players like Danny Santana (ADP of 101.3) and also projects you’ll get about the same production as Joey Gallo, who is going off the board six rounds earlier on average.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts to target: Pirates shortstop Kevin Newman. After a taste of the big leagues in 2018, Newman had a solid full first season in 2019, hitting 12 home runs, stealing 16 bases and slashing .308/.353/.446. Newman also began to hit to all fields, pulling the ball just 37.3 percent of the time after doing so well over 40 percent in the minors. 

Newman is primarily a ground-ball hitter, putting it on the ground more than 50 percent of the time in his minor-league career, so spraying hits to all fields and keeping opposing defenses from shifting is a significant factor for success. Fantasy owners should also see the benefit of Newman’s improved walk rate, as he walked 5.3 percent of the time last season after a 7.0 mark in the minors. That’s why SportsLine’s model ranks Newman ahead of shortstops like Bo Bichette and Amed Rosario, who are being drafted earlier on average.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball busts

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball busts the model is fading: Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander. The 37-year old veteran has been one of MLB’s most dominant starters over the past four years, but SportsLine’s model says he’s overvalued as he heads into his 16th season. 

There were signs of trouble in the 2019 MLB postseason. He posted a 1-4 record with a 4.33 ERA. He really struggled in the World Series, losing both starts, as he gave up seven earned runs and six walks over 11 innings. 

The latest 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP shows that he’s going off in the second round (No. 17 overall) on average, but SportsLine’s model has 15 other starters listed ahead of him, including Lance McCullers, who has an ADP outside the top 70.

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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