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Fantasy 411 podcast: Will Ohtani reach 160 IP?

MLB.com

The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's Fantasy411 podcast, hosted by MLB.com lead fantasy writer Fred Zinkie and FanRag Sports fantasy writer Al Melchior. To hear the rest of their discussion, subscribe to the Fantasy411 podcast by clicking here.

Fred Zinkie: Now we are going to jump way West and talk about Shohei Ohtani signing with the Angels. I don't know if this is bigger or smaller than [Giancarlo] Stanton from a baseball perspective, but in fantasy it is a little smaller. It is still pretty big though, because this is a big unknown. We are talking about a new commodity, someone that sort of blows our minds in regards of how to use him. Let's just talk about him now that he's here and on a team. As a pitcher, how many innings do you think he will throw this year? How do you think he fits into a rotation? Is he a No. 2 or No. 3? Where do you see him as far as value goes?

The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's Fantasy411 podcast, hosted by MLB.com lead fantasy writer Fred Zinkie and FanRag Sports fantasy writer Al Melchior. To hear the rest of their discussion, subscribe to the Fantasy411 podcast by clicking here.

Fred Zinkie: Now we are going to jump way West and talk about Shohei Ohtani signing with the Angels. I don't know if this is bigger or smaller than [Giancarlo] Stanton from a baseball perspective, but in fantasy it is a little smaller. It is still pretty big though, because this is a big unknown. We are talking about a new commodity, someone that sort of blows our minds in regards of how to use him. Let's just talk about him now that he's here and on a team. As a pitcher, how many innings do you think he will throw this year? How do you think he fits into a rotation? Is he a No. 2 or No. 3? Where do you see him as far as value goes?

Al Melchior: I do see him as a No. 2, probably lower end. As far as the innings go, I'm pretty comfortable with 160 because the Angels said they are going to try to keep him on a once a week schedule. They are considering a six-man rotation, and he pitched deep into games in Japan. I don't know how that will translate, but you could probably conservatively say that he is going to pitch six innings a start and probably about 25 starts. That gets him in that range and probably where he will wind up. I think that's a pretty good comparison to how Aaron Nola did last year. He threw 168 innings, but had a 3.54 ERA. Ohtani can probably do better than a 12-11 record. The playing time will look similar to Nola I think. That's not a bad baseline, and I think it should be enough to get Ohtani right in around the top 20.

Video: Ohtani's fantasy outlook as SP comparable to Paxton

FZ: I think fantasy owners will initially hear 160 innings as a cap and think this is someone who won't help me a lot because the mind of people are still in the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 days of 200-inning pitchers. You had very few of 200- or 190-inning pitchers last season. One hundred sixty sounds low, but I think as fantasy owners look closer, they'll see many throwing 175-180 innings, so 160 isn't much of a drop off compared to a few years ago.