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MLB The Show 16 News Post



Sixty years ago, a player-manager from the Cleveland Indians named Lou Bodreau came up with a defensive strategy to stop Ted Williams' brilliant hitting.

At the time, Williams was playing some of the best baseball ever -- even compiling a .408 batting average in a single season.

In an attempt to stop Williams, Bodreau came up with a defensive shift which was unorthodox but ended up effective:

Quote:
"[Boudreau] said, this is what I want you to do: See the the stuff I put on the blackboard? When I yell ‘Yo!’, that’s when everybody takes the position that I put on the blackboard,” Russ Schneider, Boudreau’s biographer, told me. “And the players said, ‘What’re you, crazy?’ Even his coaches said the same thing. ‘You can’t do that! How can you do that?’ He said, ‘We’re gonna do it.’”

What Boudreau was diagramming would eventually go down in baseball lore as the “Ted Williams Shift.” It was a simple case of playing the percentages: Boudreau knew Williams was an extreme pull hitter, and therefore more likely to make an out if more defenders were shifted to the right side of the field. So he rolled out a crazy-looking alignment that packed all four infielders between first and second base..."

The shift has taken over baseball this year. The number of balls in play hit with a defensive shift on went from under 5% in 2011 to almost 30% of all balls in play this year.

As offensive numbers go down, there is some talk of banning the shifts in order to boost offensive numbers as one of many rules changes.

But so long as they're here, are you using defensive shifts in MLB The Show 16? If so, how effective have they been vs. a more traditional defensive alignment?

Game: MLB The Show 16Reader Score: 7.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS3 / PS4Votes for game: 21 - View All
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Member Comments
# 1 bukktown @ 10/14/16 03:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMChrisS


[left]Sixty years ago, a player-manager from the Cleveland Indians named Lou Bodreau came up with a defensive strategy to stop Ted Williams' brilliant hitting.

At the time, Williams was playing some of the best baseball ever -- even compiling a .408 batting average in a single season.

In an attempt to stop Williams, Bodreau came up with a defensive shift which was unorthodox but ended up effective:



The shift has taken over baseball this year. The number of balls in play hit with a defensive shift on went from under 5% in 2011 to almost 30% of all balls in play this year.

As offensive numbers go down, there is some talk of banning the shifts in order to boost offensive numbers as one of many rules changes.

But so long as they're here, are you using defensive shifts in MLB The Show 16? If so, how effective have they been vs. a more traditional defensive alignment?
Offline- I didn't have much luck pitching to the shift. My strategy was offspeed pitches to pull shifts and fastballs away to push shifts. I don't know what generates the AI's timing but it seems random and shifting didn't help me.

Online- it's too exploitable for me to use. Gameplay seems better balanced without shifts
 
# 2 KBLover @ 10/14/16 06:31 PM
In The Show, hitters can go against their tendencies at will because the tendencies aren't all that strong.

They provide some "bonuses" (pull hitters do a bit better pulling the ball) but those hit chart percentages aren't really much of a guide, even if you pitch into them (LH pull hitter - I throw offspeed inside, his bat should really get sped up but he slaps it the other way like he's Wade Boggs or something).

If hitters could do that consistently (either by ability or mindset), the shift wouldn't be much of a thing in the real game.

Honestly, I wish the CPU hitters would hit more to their spray charts modified by pitch location and for the Human hitter, make it more difficult to go against a hitter's tendencies.
 
# 3 Jr. @ 10/14/16 06:50 PM
I utilize shifts a ton, but unfortunately, as others have said, the spray charts aren't represented well when it comes to how hitters make contact in-game. I'd still say it helps more than hurts, but there are times when a guy with 48% pull and 35% up the middle tendency will slap a ball on the ground down the opposite field line for an easy double.
 
# 4 jada855 @ 10/14/16 07:16 PM
Yeah hopefully playing defense will be improved in MLB 17! Especially when using player lock! Movement and flexibility will be key but only time will tell!
 
# 5 Stout @ 10/14/16 07:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jada855
Yeah hopefully playing defense will be improved in MLB 17! Especially when using player lock! Movement and flexibility will be key but only time will tell!
Defense feels so stale and lacks any fluidity, which amazes me because I would've thought by this point Sony would have seen what engine re-hauls can do with games like Madden and FIFA. If you make a diving play, especially on player lock, it just feels so robotic. Granted, I think most Madden players will remember the early issues with the Infinite Engine, but look at where it is now...the engine with MLB TS feels ten years older than it should.
 
# 6 NYJin2011tm @ 10/14/16 07:35 PM
I hate it and would never use it in the Show or real life. I don't care what the numbers say.


Speaking of shifts how do you change the infield shifts in the Show 15? I can't seem to figure it out.
 
# 7 Detroitfan4life1993 @ 10/14/16 09:31 PM
I cant stand shifts irl and never use them in the show
 
# 8 TheWarmWind @ 10/14/16 09:58 PM
I've managed to use them quite effectively, but I find that I have to treat the spray charts with plenty of skepticism. I also may have to change the shift once I get into a deeper count.
 
# 9 Caulfield @ 10/14/16 10:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYJin2011tm
I hate it and would never use it in the Show or real life. I don't care what the numbers say.


Speaking of shifts how do you change the infield shifts in the Show 15? I can't seem to figure it out.
Thats a nice sentiment and I agree about not using it in the show but IRL theres just too much at stake not to use it appropriately . Anyone not willing to adapt will be left behind . And left in the unemployment line . When batters learn to become hitters again the shift will eventually become useless. Then I will rejoice .
 
# 10 cardinalbird5 @ 10/15/16 03:44 AM
Offline no because they seem too random.

Online sometimes but usually is more based off the park I am playing in and to take away bunting. Extreme shifts are too easy to beat with bunts unless you modify it by keeping the 3b at home to guard bunts.

One huge problem with shifting online is the pause timer. If you pause it automatically takes 15 sec off then sometimes it will randomly keep your guys in double play depth and sometimes they wont automatically do double play depth. It becomes a pain, very cumbersome and takes away from the fluidity of the game.

It needs fixed tbh plus theres no custom shifts, 5 man infields, no choice to concede stolen bases(if up 5 plus you cannot hold runners) or modified double play depth vs faster/slower runners.

It needs a ton of work.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
# 11 jada855 @ 10/15/16 08:56 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stout
Defense feels so stale and lacks any fluidity, which amazes me because I would've thought by this point Sony would have seen what engine re-hauls can do with games like Madden and FIFA. If you make a diving play, especially on player lock, it just feels so robotic. Granted, I think most Madden players will remember the early issues with the Infinite Engine, but look at where it is now...the engine with MLB TS feels ten years older than it should.
Stout,

You have a good point here. I was just thinking the same thing the other day when I thought about posting in the MLB 17 wish list thread.

I wondered if the non fluidness of playing defense is tied to the game engine. Granted I am a hardcore baseball fan. But when I play NBA 2k17 the way the players interact with each other on the court just has me dreaming that MLB The Show played with the same type of connection to the experience.

I am not a developer but I am a creative and a baseball player. I know it's not the visuals that give me the doscconect from having a realistic baseball experience. But I am not sure where the series is going from a realistic baseball stand point especially when they added the bullet time (non showtime) events on defense that cannot be turned off.

So if that's the way of thinking going forward I'm not sure what we will see in MLB 17. There is a big thread on here about defense overhaul I have yet to post there but hopefully it will address player lock defensive issues as well.

I have actually been looking for a video of someone player locked at short stop to call for a pick off play and actually get the runner out. I've been trying this since MLB 14 LOL with no luck!

I always knew MLB The Show looked the part but couldn't finger until now what was missing and one glaring isssue is that the game doesn't play like baseball especially from a defensive perspective even more glaring when you player lock on defense.
 
# 12 Hammerhunker @ 10/15/16 09:19 AM
I think defensive alignment strategy needs to be the next big focus, and have said this in my circles for years. Aside from the occasion shift, bunt coverage, double play depth, the cpu never "adjusts", always straight up,vanilla, generic, zero effort in this area.

By the way, Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941 not .408. He did hit .407 in 1953 but with only 93 at bats (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/willite01.shtml)
 
# 13 KBLover @ 10/15/16 11:36 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhunker
I think defensive alignment strategy needs to be the next big focus, and have said this in my circles for years. Aside from the occasion shift, bunt coverage, double play depth, the cpu never "adjusts", always straight up,vanilla, generic, zero effort in this area.

It seems to be pre-programmed to shift for certain guys, probably based on name (or at least that player's ID) more than reading hit chart and player ability (any player with 85+ power and 40% or more pull tendency, for example).

Really see it in my "future" franchise were fictionals and other guys come up into good power hitters with pull profiles and no shift, but Chris Davis comes up - shift. Gallo? No shift - both are powerful LH pull hitters.
 
# 14 HypoLuxa13 @ 10/15/16 11:54 AM
As others have said, spray charts have much less impact on the Show than in real life. I've always assumed it had more to do with the "dice roll" that happens when comparing the hitter attributes against the pitcher attributes, and when they get combined against the pitch location and timing of the swing to produce the batted ball or swing and miss outcome, I don't believe the tendencies of the batter actually impact this as much as it should. I've been burned against the CPU many, many times against guys like Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez, Rizzo, etc. At seemingly a much higher rate than these guys are able to do in real life.

Edit: additional thought about the "dice roll", this also seems to be part of the reason why we so SO MANY opposite field home runs in The Show, even for players in real life who basically never hit opposite field home runs.
 
# 15 KBLover @ 10/15/16 12:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by HypoLuxa13
Edit: additional thought about the "dice roll", this also seems to be part of the reason why we so SO MANY opposite field home runs in The Show, even for players in real life who basically never hit opposite field home runs.

That and no "power by field" rating.

Haven't seen any baseball game really tackle that. Instead that 90 power or whatever applies to all fields, even his weaker ones. Likewise a 70 power that might be a 90+ to his dead pull field is still a 70.
 
# 16 Comduklakis @ 10/15/16 04:45 PM
As a Tigers franchise player I get a standard shift for Gerald Saltalamachia and Victor Martinez every time out. And it kills Victor since I can't seem to not pull the ball with him (I have a problem staying back in general). Beyond that I don't see shifts against any of my players.

I let the CPU decided when to shift on defense for me and it seems to work fine. I certainly have taken away some hits (almost all against lefthanders) with the shift.

I think in the future it does need to be based on both tendencies and also on real stats. If a guy is having an extreme pull year, the AI should respond accordingly, just as most teams do IRL.
 
# 17 decga @ 10/20/16 04:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhunker
I think defensive alignment strategy needs to be the next big focus, and have said this in my circles for years. Aside from the occasion shift, bunt coverage, double play depth, the cpu never "adjusts", always straight up,vanilla, generic, zero effort in this area.

By the way, Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941 not .408. He did hit .407 in 1953 but with only 93 at bats (http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...illite01.shtml)
First of all, I use the shift based on the hitter's chart and game. You gotta remembered to pitch to the shift.
Also while playing in offline franchise the CPU started using the extreme shift against Freddie Freeman.
 
# 18 TheWarmWind @ 10/21/16 01:22 PM
Since this post I've started using the shift even more, and I've been having a ton of success with it. I almost never use the extreme shifts or shift the outfield though, and even when I do, I straighten it out a bit when I get to two strikes.

What I've been doing instead in the outfield is varying the depth of the fielders a lot. For example a pull lefty with average power comes to the plate, and I'll put my LF Shallow, my CF Normal and my RF Deep. Combined with the soft right shift of the infield, it's a strat that has seen a lot of success.

The shift system is annoying though. Wish I could save my shifts for individual guys, and customize shifts for runners on base/count. Right now I'm spending a ton of time each defensive at bat fiddling around with settings, and the quick shifts seemed to be programmed to be as useless as possible.
 
# 19 NYJin2011tm @ 10/21/16 11:10 PM
On auto defense why doesn't the defense guard lines late in close games?
 
# 20 NimitsTexan @ 10/23/16 12:14 AM
Of course, a human player can always counter the shift like the Cubs did Thursday night (need to try that more often in my games) . . .
 

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