MLBPA and Major League Baseball owners are still at odds over what the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement will look like, and we now know that at least the first week of the regular season will be canceled. The players were already supposed to be at MLB spring training, but that too has been delayed indefinitely. However, smart fantasy baseball players are still beginning their preparation for the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Draft, knowing that the season could be back at any moment as the two sides try to hammer out a deal.
A reliable set of 2022 fantasy baseball rankings can help you keep up to date with the latest MLB injury news and MLB roster movement. They can also help you identify potential Fantasy Baseball 2022 sleepers, breakouts, and busts that will define the upcoming season. Before going on the clock, be sure to see Proven Computer Model Fantasy Baseball 2022 cheat sheets and rankings on SportsLine.
Last season, SportsLine’s projection model identified several fantastic baseball sleepers, escapes and busts, including reliever Brad Hand.
The SportsLine team was everywhere Hand as a Fantasy bust from the start, and he later lost his job as a closer as he bounced between three teams. He had a disastrous 7.57 ERA during a stint with the Blue Jays later in the season. Their model had him ranked well below expert consensus rankings, and anyone who listened to their advice avoided a major speed bump that could have derailed their season.
Their model is powered by the same people who powered the projections for the three major fantasy sites. And this same group shares its 2022 Fantasy Baseball Rankings and Cheat Sheets at SportsLinehelping you find fantasy baseball crosses, escapes and busts long before your competition. Their cheat sheets, available for leagues on many major sites, are updated several times a day.
Whenever more MLB news comes out on the updated 2022 MLB schedule or fantasy baseball injuries, the SportsLine team updates its projections. Go to SportsLine now to see these proven fantasy baseball cheat sheets.
Top 2022 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers
One of the 2022 fantasy baseball sleepers, the role model is everywhere: Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Triston McKenzie. He had a rough end to the season, giving up 14 combined earned runs in his last three contests, but those games were meaningless after Cleveland was eliminated from the playoffs. McKenzie has been fantastic for most of the season, allowing one earned run or less in five straight starts going into his last three games. He was a hitting machine during that streak, sitting at least six batters in all five games.
McKenzie spent time in the minors early in the season, but returned as a top starter for Cleveland. He earned a spot in the rotation heading into the 2022 MLB season. The SportsLine model considers him a sleeper due to his difficult three-game stretch to end the 2021 campaign, as he was electric before that slip-up.
Top 2022 Fantasy Baseball Breakouts
One of 2022’s fantasy baseball breakouts, the role model is everywhere: Chicago Cubs center fielder Rafael Ortega. After playing sparingly for the Rockies, Marlins, Angels and Braves from 2012 to 2019, Ortega had a chance to be an everyday player in the second half of the 2021 season after the Cubs disbanded their roster and that the 30-year-old was able to get the most out of it.
Ortega slashed .291 / .360 / .463 with 11 homers and 12 stolen bases in 103 games last season and that likely gave him the opportunity to be a Cubs regular in 2022. His average outing speed of 88.3 mph , 34.6 percent hard-hit contact rate and 18.3-degree average launch angle were all career-best, suggesting Ortega made the swing changes needed to deliver results consistent. It’s a big reason the model loves him more than more established outfielders like Cody Bellinger and Ramon Laureano.
Top 2022 Fantasy Baseball Busts
As for players to avoid, the model identified Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane Baz as one of its best 2022 Fantasy baseball busts. A draft pick spent on Baz at his current 2022 Fantasy baseball ADP 77.5 is largely a gamble after just four appearances with the Rays late last season. In three regular season starts, he finished with just 13.1 innings pitched and gave up three homers despite having a 2.03 ERA.
In his only playoff appearance against Boston in the American League Divisional Series, he allowed six hits and three earned runs in just 2.1 innings pitched as the Red Sox beat the Rays, 14-6. As things stand, Baz’s role on the pitching team is still up for debate, with recently acquired right-handers Drew Rasmussen and Corey Kluber also favorites to land a spot in the rotation. The SportsLine model predicts that proven names like Cal Quantrill, Yu Darvish and Kyle Gibson will all outperform Baz, despite much higher ADPs.
How to Find Proven 2022 Fantasy Baseball Rankings
SportsLine is also high on a surprising starting pitcher who ranks in the top five of his positional rankings. This player barely makes it off the board in the top 100 picks, but is expected to outplay starters such as Julio Urias, Max Scherzer and Lucas Giolito. This choice could be the difference between winning your league or going home with nothing. You can only look who it is here.
So which Fantasy 2022 baseball busts, escapes, and sleepers should you target or fade in your drafts? Visit SportsLine now to get the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Rankings for every position, all from the model that called Brad Hand’s disappointing seasonand find out.