Shohei Ohtani is Creating a Dilemma in Fantasy Baseball
Leagues are unsure if the two-way player should be classified as a pitcher or a hitter.
On the field for the Los Angeles Angels, two-way player Shohei Ohtani looks like he could be the answer.
For fantasy programmers, on the other hand, he’s shaping up to be a problem.
The primary reason for that is Ohtani plans to hit and pitch this season for the Angels, leaving fantasy leagues with a big question: Should Ohtan be classified as a pitcher, a hitter or both?
Fantasy baseball software is structured around the concept that hitters and pitchers are two separate groups and therefore accumulate statistics in different ways. For a player like Ohtani, there isn’t an easy way to accommodate him within making some big programming changes.
CBS opted to do just that and had engineers rewrite their fantasy site’s code so Ohtani can appear as a hitter or a pitcher, but not both at the same time. ESPN did something similar. Yahoo went another route and created two separate Ohtanis, meaning that he can be drafted at both positions and theoretically be a member of two different fantasy teams in the same league.
All of those solutions are short-term fixes for what could end up being a career-long issue.
“People in fantasy baseball are secretly rooting that he doesn’t make it as a hitter so it can kind of go back to what it was,” Fantasy Sports Trade Association president Peter Schoenke told The AP. “There are millions of lines of code, and you’re putting in an exception for just one player. It gets tricky.”
Thanks for reading InsideHook. Sign up for our daily newsletter and be in the know.
Suggested for you