Budget a maximum of $60 for pitching, of which about half should be targeted to acquiring saves. The remaining $30 should be spent on pitchers who have a minimum statistical profile of 2.0 K/BB ratio, 6.0 K/9 IP, 1.0 HR/9, without regard to role or ERA. Draft the minimum number of innings your league will allow, and then maximize your offense with the remaining $200.
What you potentially gain: Pitching skill is not necessarily expensive and you can assemble a staff that fares very well in ERA/WHIP at little cost, thereby freeing up big dollars for offense. Drafting fewer IP also allows you to make in-season adjustments easier.
Conditions necessary for success: It helps to be in a league where the other owners spend liberally on the top starting pitchers. You must succeed in drafting enough saves with $30 to finish in the top third of that category.
Risks: Biggest risk is that you may be forced to punt Wins at some point. This strategy is more difficult to pull off in leagues that have high IP requirements (1,000 and up) or 5x5 leagues.
Result: High probability of success in the right type of league environment. LIMA can work very well in either auction or straight draft formats.
About Ron Shandler
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