Thanks for doing this math @legendaryan, it is helpful to see actual numbers. I think the minor effect this would have on Ottoneu kind of underlines that it isn’t a good change to make. While there may be a minor effect to scoring, making a change that says “your lineup is your lineup and everyone gets stats for hitting and pitching, including pitchers” is a huge change and very different from every other fantasy game. This would require a ton of messaging and user education, which means there has to be a reason ‘why’ one would do this… and I am just not seeing the ‘why’. As fun as it is to ask for pitcher hitting to count when Madison Bumgarner hits two homers on Opening Day, those requests dry up when things return to the status quo. I would insert a collective pitcher slash line here but I haven’t had coffee yet and my Googling isn’t working that well. I found this showing AL vs NL OPS, and it seems to support the notion that pitchers aren’t going to add a ton of points to anyone’s lineup, though I am surprised they aren’t more of a negative.
Note: remember when Madison Bumgarner did that and it was awesome?
So, generally people aren’t clamoring to get hitting stats for their NL pitchers, from what I can tell. No fantasy game that I know of has that out of the box. Pitchers don’t hit well, so it isn’t a fun thing to add to fantasy - you want things to root for, and “sac bunt is best case scenario” doesn’t fall under that category.
Making a broad, massive change to how users will think about pitchers and how to build their team all for Shohei Otani seems like a bit of an overreaction as of right now. Let me see a full year of him in the majors with a team that is willing to deploy him the way we all salivate over, and let me see the number of innings or homers people miss out on because they put Otani in the wrong slot, and let me see Otani hit and pitch like the Japanese Babe Ruth he is claimed to be (keeping in mind it is 2017 and not 1920) and then in the fall of 2018 we can and should revisit this conversation. Because of Otani does all of that stuff, that would definitely be something to root for.
But as things stand, this is a big change to communicate, which takes a lot of time and effort, for very minimal gain. If there is an advantage to making this change that I am not seeing, please let me know, but it seems like almost no change for existing pitchers, and a complete unknown as to how Otani will hit and pitch in the majors. If he becomes the weapon that most of us as baseball fans hope he turns into, I think he’ll require a fundamental re-thinking of how fantasy baseball treats pitchers and hitters, but doing that proactively will take up my time (which is, unfortunately, finite), and I have a couple of other things that I’d rather spend the offseason on.
@legendaryan I hope this gives some insight into my reluctance specifically on your point and generally how I go about thinking about making broader rules changes. And sorry if this was ramble-y, I haven’t had coffee yet and I should go remedy that now.