Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2020: Best sleepers, breakouts, busts from simulation that nailed Bieber’s big year


After a hard-fought debate over player salaries, Major League Baseball has finally agreed to return for a 60-game season in late July. And with a second spring training beginning in early July, Fantasy baseball owners are on the hunt for the 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts who will define the upcoming season. The Dodgers have one of the most loaded lineups in baseball and they could benefit immensely from a universal DH that will help them find at-bats for Justin Turner, Gavin Lux, A.J. Pollock and Joc Pederson.

However, the Dodgers will also be dealt the challenge of a regional schedule that will also send them to play top American League squads like the Astros and Athletics in addition to the Diamondbacks, Rockies, Giants and Padres. A reliable set of 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings can help you get maximum value out of all the picks in your 2020 Fantasy baseball drafts. So before you go on the clock, be sure to check out the Fantasy baseball rankings 2020 and 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 more information comes out about the updated 2020 MLB schedule or players dropping out, the team at SportsLine updates its projections. Go to SportsLine now to see these proven Fantasy baseball cheat sheets. 

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: White Sox right fielder Nomar Mazara. The 24-year-old was traded to Chicago by the Rangers this offseason and now he’ll get a chance to reinvent himself after four seasons in the MLB where he didn’t quite live up to lofty expectations as a top-100 prospect.

Mazara hit 79 home runs and drove in 308 runs in four seasons with the Rangers, but posted just a .754 OPS during the time and was below average offensively with a 92 wRC+ (league average is 100). However, Mazara saw his barrel rate grow from 6.5 percent to 8.7 percent, and then to 10.7 percent over the last two seasons. Now he should see a lot of fastballs hitting down the order in a White Sox lineup that is suddenly loaded after an aggressive offseason. That’s why the model ranks Mazara ahead of Franmil Reyes, who is going three rounds earlier on average.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts the model is all over: Rays left fielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo. The Rays paid a $2.4 million posting fee and then signed Tsutsugo to a two-year, $12 million contract to bring him over from Japan. Now he’ll bring an advanced plate approach that should serve him well.

Tsutsugo hit 183 home runs over the last six seasons in Japan and his walk rate was 13.8 percent or higher in each of his last four seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball. He should hit for power and get on base regularly for the Rays. That’s always a good formula for staying in the lineup, and as a lefty he should see the bulk of the action even if they platoon him in the outfield. That’s why the model ranks him ahead of Willie Calhoun, and Ryan Braun, left fielders being drafted at least three rounds earlier on average.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball busts

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball busts the model is fading: Padres outfielder Tommy Pham. The 32-year-old had three solid years in a row while splitting his time between the Cardinals and Rays, but now he goes to a ballpark that has been stifling production for years in San Diego. Petco Park was the third-most run-suppressing park in baseball last season and we’ve seen proven offensive talents like Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado go to San Diego and fail to come close to previous production.

To make matters worse, Pham saw dramatic drops in average exit velocity (92.8 mph to 90.8 mph), barrel rate (10.1 percent to 7.9 percent) and hard-hit contact rate (48.5 percent to 43.4 percent) from 2018 to 2019. That looks like the start of regression for Pham now that he’s firmly in his 30s and Petco Park probably only serves to exacerbate the issue in 2020. That’s why the model ranks Pham behind left fielders like Ian Happ and Tyler O’Neill, both of whom are being drafted at least eight rounds later on average than Pham.

How to find proven 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings

SportsLine’s model is also all over a surprising first baseman. He’s barely being picked in the top 100, but is ranked No. 2 at his position. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.

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.

CBS Sports Staff

2020-06-30 09:26:01

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