Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to Win: The LIMA Plan

The LIMA (Low Investment Mound Aces) Plan became extremely popular for a while. However, it soon became a less effective strategy for some because the most recommended LIMA pitchers were so hotly desired that they quickly became too expensive to fit within the plan. We zig when they zag, so many of us dropped the strategy. Now, with a few years separating us from the height of the strategy's popularity, it may become a viable strategy again, with a few tweaks.
  1. Go extreme LIMA - Avoid the future closer types and the popular future starter candidates such as Chris Sale and Aroldis Chapman. These guys are too popular to get at a discount. You need to be way ahead of the game to effectively use the LIMA Plan now. The middle relievers you draft should cost you no more than 2-3 bucks each. Here are a few guys to look into that should be pretty cheap: Wilton Lopez, Astros; Joe Thatcher, Padres; Matt Belisle, Rockies; Takashi Saito, Brewers; and James Russell, Cubs.
  2. Screw the Closer - Unless you can get one for dirt cheap, forget about drafting a closer and spend even more on offense. You can trade for a closer later if you don't get lucky on the waiver wire. With offense you should be able to put together, you should have plenty to entice potential trade partners.
  3. Pick Up Young Starters - When you troll the waiver wire look for young starters getting call ups, especially ones being called up after brief demotions. They're usually a lot better the second time around.
You can still win with the LIMA Plan, it just takes a little imagination and stepping away from the guys that everyone else is clamoring after.

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