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Improving Your Diamond Dynasty Lineup on a Budget

MLB The Show 19

Improving Your Diamond Dynasty Lineup on a Budget

The basics of the card-collecting Diamond Dynasty mode in MLB The Show 19 may largely go unchanged year to year, but don’t let that make you think that nothing’s changed when it comes to building your squad. For one thing, thanks to an abundance of elite cards and the fact that gameplay is now a little more balanced than in previous years, there are plenty of viable players out there who can contribute to your team without costing you all that many Stubs. Whether you’re trying to round out your team with that one last missing piece of the puzzle or just starting out from scratch, here are some guys who can surely help you out, depending on your needs.

Starting Pitcher

Luis Castillo 92 OVR – 2019 All-Star Series Flashback (Approx. Stub Cost: 9,000)

There are a lot of options on the market to fill out your starting rotation, but if you’re looking for a cheap but effective player with a great fastball, you could do a lot worse than this recently released Luis Castillo All-Star card. Compared to similarly priced options, Castillo has the leg up on Signature Series Legend Whitey Ford and All-Star Legend Mark Prior by virtue of his 99 velocity, which will make his fastball more effective at keeping players at higher levels a little more honest. His HR/9 rating of 67 may mean that he’ll give up a long ball a little more frequently than you’d probably like, and his BB/9 rating of 68 could see you struggling with control, but there has to be some reason a pitcher this good comes so cheap. But if you don’t quite have the necessary Stubs to afford Castillo, those Ford and Prior cards are a little cheaper than Castillo and still have comparable ratings in most attributes.

Catcher

Joe Torre 93 OVR – All-Star Legend (Approx. Stub Cost: 18,000)

There are only two real choices if you’re looking for a budget catcher who can hold his own at the dish and behind the plate. While either will provide you with stellar production pretty much across the board, we’re going to go with Joe Torre as the slightly cheaper option compared to the 95 OVR Signature Series Russell Martin that will likely run you a couple thousand Stubs more. Though Torre’s bat does offer a little more pop than Martin’s, this will come at the expense of losing a little in defensive attributes, including arm strength and accuracy. All things considered, however, the offensive firepower should be enough to make up for what you’ll lose in the field. Still, consider this one almost a toss-up between these two elite catchers and more a matter of personal preference.

First Base

Keith Hernandez 98 OVR – Signature Series Legend (Approx. Stub Cost: 13,000)

There are several intriguing possibilities at first base who won’t break the bank, but it’s hard to pass up the chance to slot a 98 OVR player — the highest-rated player on this list — like Keith Hernandez in at the position. Boasting both diamond fielding and hitting abilities, whatever Hernandez may lack in the power department he makes up for in his ability to hit for contact and get on base. If you need any more incentive to scoop up the guy who once briefly dated Elaine on Seinfeld, consider the fact that his rating is over 100 on such vital attributes as vision, discipline and clutch. Should you be looking for a little more power at the plate than Hernandez has to offer, however, you may want to go with the slightly cheaper Signature Series Travis Hafner, but just be prepared for more errors than you’d get with Hernandez at first base.

Second Base

Ian Kinsler 96 OVR – Signature Series Flashback (Approx. Stub Cost: 18,000)

Second base is typically a difficult position to fill if you’re looking for a flexible set of skills, but Signature Series Flashback Ian Kinsler, from back in the days when he was playing with the Rangers, makes it difficult to find a weakness. Blessed with contact and power attributes that are pretty well balanced whether facing lefties or righties, he also possesses enough speed on the bases to steal a bag every now and then, and wouldn’t be all that out of place in the leadoff spot of a lineup. If you wanted to nitpick, you could maybe point to his gold-level fielding attributes as being slightly less than elite, but it will still be pretty rare when he commits an error, and his lesser arm strength isn’t as much of a problem at his position. There are some good cheaper cards available at the position, like Signature Series Legend Bill Mazeroski and 2019 All-Star Flashback Max Muncy, but none are quite as well rounded as Kinsler.

Third Base

Aubrey Huff 91 OVR – Signature Series Legend (Approx. Stub Cost: 8,000)

For as few Stubs as anyone else on this list, Aubrey Huff can provide the kind of offensive production that will rival any other hitter mentioned here. The rare left-handed batter who doesn’t lose much of his potency against southpaws, he should be able to get on base and launch dingers at an impressive clip no matter who’s on the mound. Granted, you’ll probably have to be able to accept a miscue at the hot corner every now and again thanks to his bronze-level fielding, but if that’s too much of a liability to bear, you’ll have to weigh whether it’s worth about 10,000 Stubs more to invest in someone like Hardware Flashback Miguel Cabrera, whose silver-level fielding might serve you better.

Shortstop

Fernando Tatis Jr. 90 OVR – Future Stars – (Approx. Stub Cost: 24,000)

Easily the hardest position to find an elite budget option, Tatis Jr. is a solid choice at shortstop based on the balanced play he provides, with nearly all his key attributes hovering around 80. He might not be able to give you the kind of performance that the 99 OVR Cal Ripken can, but bear in mind that he also comes at half the cost. Otherwise, if you’re looking for more of a speed/contact/fielding guy that you can plug in at the top of your order, you may want to split the difference and consider Signature Series Omar Vizquel.

Left Field

Michael Brantley 92 OVR- 2019 All-Star Flashback (Approx. Stub Cost: 8,000)

Oddly enough, there are actually a few different left fielders with recently released All-Star cards that are surprisingly affordable, but the best of the bunch is likely this Michael Brantley one whose only weakness is in the field — and it’s hardly bad enough to even be considered a weakness. Your other options here are Joc Pederson and Ronald Acuna Jr., who will both be able to give you more power but even worse fielding than Brantley. But Brantley has 100-plus contact stats from both sides of the plate and 75 and 80 power respectively versus righties and lefties, so it’s not as if he really lacks anything at the plate himself.

Center Field

Andruw Jones 91 OVR – All-Star Legend (Approx. Stub Cost: 12,000)

We would all love to have the inimitable Mike Trout manning center field, but unless you happen to have 135,000 Stubs or so lying around, you’ll have to settle for someone a little less expensive. Because so many people have All-Star Legend Andruw Jones at this point, he’s ultra affordable. While he may not perform quite like Trout, he also offers plenty of upside. Without question, his greatest attributes are his power (106 versus righties) and his fielding (95, plus 94 reaction) but you do have to be willing to sacrifice a little bit in the way of contact (67 versus righties and 62 versus lefties) if you want to plug him in at center field. Considering you’d have to spend another 25,000-30,000 Stubs or so to get someone better at the position (96 OVR Signature Series Curtis Granderson), Jones may be a good stopgap while you’re saving up your Stubs for an upgrade.

Right Field

Andre Dawson 92 OVR – Hardware Legend (Approx. Stub Cost: 15,000)

With three viable budget right fielders currently out there on the market, your own preference will likely depend on what your team is lacking elsewhere. The most versatile option also happens to be the cheapest, as Andre Dawson will be able to provide diamond abilities both at the plate and in the field. With above-average attributes nearly across the board (with his 40 discipline being the only real exception), he’s solid if not spectacular at everything you’d want him to be. If you’re more preoccupied with hitting and don’t mind a slight deficiencies in fielding, you could always kick in a few more Stubs for Hardware Legend Vladimir Guerrero (if you need more power) or Signature Series Legend Enos Slaughter (if you need more contact).

Relief Pitcher

Greg Holland 91 OVR- All-Star Flashback (Approx. Stub Cost: 8,000)

Many of the premium bullpen options are going to run you at least 50,000 Stubs, but it doesn’t need to cost you that much to get a reliever you’ll be able to use in high-leverage situations. All-Star Flashback Greg Holland can give you most, if not all, of what those expensive cards can deliver and at just a fraction of the cost. Holland has decent enough velocity with an 86 rating, his H/9 and K/9 are both 100-plus, and he’s been blessed with a pretty nasty slider-splitter combo that should be able to keep plenty of hitters guessing. Of course, he’s not quite as effective as the relatively common All-Star Legend Goose Gossage card, but that one will run you almost 30,000 Stubs more for just a slight upgrade in velocity and several other attributes.

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  1. countryboy
    Everytime I see that Joe Torre 1966 All Star card, I think I'm looking at a wrestler staring at his opponent as he's about to enter the ring.

    not a great year stat-wise for Torre but this would be a great card picture to have in the Show. The sideburns are excellent lol
    I paid $60 for this game.
    I'm not paying another penny.
    Microtransactions will cause the next Great Video Game Crash. I guarantee it.
    Removing them from RTTS was a good start. Now finish the job.
    "DD funds the game!" The business did just fine for 40 years with just the purchase price.
    Cold Snap
    I paid $60 for this game.
    I'm not paying another penny.
    Microtransactions will cause the next Great Video Game Crash. I guarantee it.
    Removing them from RTTS was a good start. Now finish the job.
    "DD funds the game!" The business did just fine for 40 years with just the purchase price.
    business in the baseball video game isnt anywhere near as healthy as it needs to be. I might tend to agree with you if we were where we were 15 years ago, with tons of baseball games to choose from
    Problem with those stupid collectible cards game mod in sports game ( not just MLBTS) is there’s no check & balance. It’s a free for all race to build unrealistic All-Star teams. Doesn’t make sense and no fun to face a team with 9 guys hitting 90+ .
    To a certain point , Battle Royale is a better and more realistic way of building a team where you have to make compromises. But the way the game is design with his 3 innings games and no fatigue and injuries, you just play with same guys all the time. On top of that random starting pitchers are meaningless. At best they’ll pitch one inning and a half. So you make sure you have a few good relievers and that’s it.
    Online MLBTS is a thing of the past for me.
    SmashMan
    Then it's a good thing that nobody is asking you to.
    Lmao!
    They are indeed asking you too! Seriously?
    They just can't force you to, but boy do they try!
    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    That's a lot of stubs to spend if I'm on a budget.
    My DD team has diamonds at 6 of the 8 field positions and 2 diamond closers in my pen along with 3 diamonds on my bench and I didn't spend a single stub on any of them directly. Proud to say I earned/pulled every one and I don't even feel like I play that often.
    Quality cards are so much easier to earn this year as long as you dedicate a fair amount of time into it. To me that's a better way to build a diamond level team "on a budget."
    I really struggle to grasp the fascination with this mode and how playing with a field full of diamonds is actually fun. The challenge with sports is not everyone is equal and how well you can strategize is key in being able to beat a stronger opponent. It looks like that is out the window in this mode.
    Guys_WhoGame
    Every DD thread in this main forum is more bashing than anything. I think it was a good read
    I really don’t get why people feel the need to go into every DD thread just to bash it. We get it, most people on this forum don’t like DD. That’s fine, but going into every DD thread to bash it is just unnecessary. Won’t actually change anything, devs probably won’t see it and if they do they aren’t going to care when the majority of Show players like it. Whether people on OS like it or not DD is popular and here to stay.
    If people don’t like it, just ignore the threads for it rather then take them as opportunities to complain about how much you don’t like it and how it’s ruining the game. Doesn’t that get old after a while anyway?
    nemesis04
    I really struggle to grasp the fascination with this mode and how playing with a field full of diamonds is actually fun. The challenge with sports is not everyone is equal and how well you can strategize is key in being able to beat a stronger opponent. It looks like that is out the window in this mode.

    It's not really all that different than people who enjoy playing with 'best of' historical rosters in franchise mode. DD just has a collection aspect (which for those like me, who collected baseball cards as a kid, is also quite fun).
    Good baseball strategies are still very much applicable in DD. You can have a field full of 99s and each guy will still play quite differently due to his individual ratings and so on. These aren't all guys with individual ratings of 99 across the board.....even the 99 overall guys play quite differently from each other (just as they would in franchise mode). Remember, even the best players ever failed 70% of the time (and this mode isn't much different - to the chagrin of the "competitive" kiddies who play the mode online, lol). Many of these high diamond cards have massive flaws (e.g. Frank Thomas is a defensive liability) that force you to have some semblance of a strategy in building your teams and lineups. For people who understand and appreciate the nuances of the game, there is a lot that you can milk on the margins to overcome a discrepancy in ratings. I DO believe that even with a ton of high rated players, there is still plenty of room for strategy....if anything, you have to be a lot smarter when facing them (sadly for the online community, >99% of the players don't understand or appreciate the game - which is why I play the mode entirely offline).
    The biggest fallacy people fall for with respect to this mode is that you MUST HAVE "the best cards" to succeed. If guys are playing well for you, stick with them. You can build like a real GM, address weak spots...but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Even for someone like me who plays strictly offline, I can flat out tell you that there are some lower-end cards I enjoy playing with way more than some of the higher ones...just because I have a good feel for their swings or pitch mixes.
    I play DD to just kick back and have fun - it's like strat-o-matic...you have your cards and you play the game. I create all kinds of different 'theme teams' with my collections and see how they mesh together....and it's prompted me to dive deeper into the histories of players I am less familiar with (like Monte Irvin) - which has been a blast! Franchise is what I play when I want my RPG 'fix'.
    Caulfield
    business in the baseball video game isnt anywhere near as healthy as it needs to be. I might tend to agree with you if we were where we were 15 years ago, with tons of baseball games to choose from

    Just because something has existed for a while doesn't mean it belongs there.
    It's gambling.
    Gambling.
    Say it.
    And gambling with real currency in video games--even the POSSIBILITY of it--requires an AO rating from the ESRB.
    Ponder that.
    JoshC1977
    It's not really all that different than people who enjoy playing with 'best of' historical rosters in franchise mode. DD just has a collection aspect (which for those like me, who collected baseball cards as a kid, is also quite fun).
    Good baseball strategies are still very much applicable in DD. You can have a field full of 99s and each guy will still play quite differently due to his individual ratings and so on. These aren't all guys with individual ratings of 99 across the board.....even the 99 overall guys play quite differently from each other (just as they would in franchise mode). Remember, even the best players ever failed 70% of the time (and this mode isn't much different - to the chagrin of the "competitive" kiddies who play the mode online, lol). Many of these high diamond cards have massive flaws (e.g. Frank Thomas is a defensive liability) that force you to have some semblance of a strategy in building your teams and lineups. For people who understand and appreciate the nuances of the game, there is a lot that you can milk on the margins to overcome a discrepancy in ratings. I DO believe that even with a ton of high rated players, there is still plenty of room for strategy....if anything, you have to be a lot smarter when facing them (sadly for the online community, >99% of the players don't understand or appreciate the game - which is why I play the mode entirely offline).
    The biggest fallacy people fall for with respect to this mode is that you MUST HAVE "the best cards" to succeed. If guys are playing well for you, stick with them. You can build like a real GM, address weak spots...but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Even for someone like me who plays strictly offline, I can flat out tell you that there are some lower-end cards I enjoy playing with way more than some of the higher ones...just because I have a good feel for their swings or pitch mixes.
    I play DD to just kick back and have fun - it's like strat-o-matic...you have your cards and you play the game. I create all kinds of different 'theme teams' with my collections and see how they mesh together....and it's prompted me to dive deeper into the histories of players I am less familiar with (like Monte Irvin) - which has been a blast! Franchise is what I play when I want my RPG 'fix'.

    Nice response, thank you for your thought process. For the record I am glad people enjoy it, I just think the game should refrain from allowing all diamonds on a team and follow the model more like battle royale.
    Cold Snap
    Just because something has existed for a while doesn't mean it belongs there.
    It's gambling.
    Gambling.
    Say it.
    And gambling with real currency in video games--even the POSSIBILITY of it--requires an AO rating from the ESRB.
    Ponder that.

    Thats all fine and dandy, I still think it should be parental units deciding what their children can play. Hopefully one day there will be a fundamental ideology shift and we get back to that way of thinking.
    #NoNannyState
    Cold Snap
    Just because something has existed for a while doesn't mean it belongs there.
    It's gambling.
    Gambling.
    Say it.
    And gambling with real currency in video games--even the POSSIBILITY of it--requires an AO rating from the ESRB.
    Ponder that.

    Actually its not gambling because you don't run the risk of losing any real currency. Real currency is being used to buy something in this case, its stubs. And even with the stubs, you're not forced to buy packs as there is a community market where you can buy exactly what you want with the stubs you have, providing you have enough to meet the asking price.
    By your example, buying a pack of baseball cards off the shelf at the local store would be considered gambling.
    countryboy
    Actually its not gambling because you don't run the risk of losing any real currency. Real currency is being used to buy something in this case, its stubs. And even with the stubs, you're not forced to buy packs as there is a community market where you can buy exactly what you want with the stubs you have, providing you have enough to meet the asking price.
    By your example, buying a pack of baseball cards off the shelf at the local store would be considered gambling.

    The physical cards will still exist in five years.
    Signature Series Clayton Kershaw? Gone with the servers.
    Do you ENJOY starting over every year, your money vanished forever?
    Speaking as someone who once spent way too much money on phone games in years past. I know EXACTLY how predatory this is. I fell for it.
    Oh, by the way, that's the near-EXACT argument EA used to justify loot boxes to the EU. You know, the "surprise mechanics" speech? The one that said they're like Kinder Eggs, the chocolate with a toy inside?
    Penny Arcade had a field day with that one:
    nemesis04
    Nice response, thank you for your thought process. For the record I am glad people enjoy it, I just think the game should refrain from allowing all diamonds on a team and follow the model more like battle royale.

    I’d be all for an offline BR mode. Or even a conquest mode where you built your team ala’ BR.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    dalger21

    But you are not required to pay real money to play. Nothing is hidden behind a paywall. There is no risk assumed by the user when using real money because you know exactly what you're getting for your real currency, stubs. The stubs can be applied to card packs which will randomly give you cards, and the number depends on how many are assigned to the pack. But stubs can also be used in the community market to purchase any particular card the user wants, providing you meet the required asking price.
    There is no risk in losing real currency without getting something in return. If you want to call it gambling, knock yourself out, but in the manner in which it is being presented in this thread, it is far from that form of gambling. The user is assuming no risk of losing currency without a return compensation for that currency.
    countryboy
    But you are not required to pay real money to play. Nothing is hidden behind a paywall. There is no risk assumed by the user when using real money because you know exactly what you're getting for your real currency, stubs. The stubs can be applied to card packs which will randomly give you cards, and the number depends on how many are assigned to the pack. But stubs can also be used in the community market to purchase any particular card the user wants, providing you meet the required asking price.
    There is no risk in losing real currency without getting something in return. If you want to call it gambling, knock yourself out, but in the manner in which it is being presented in this thread, it is far from that form of gambling. The user is assuming no risk of losing currency without a return compensation for that currency.

    That's gambling with extra steps.
    By your definition, pachinko is not gambling.
    You're not getting money. You're getting balls. You exchange THOSE for stuff.
    But it's not money!...Even though you spend money to get them.
    By the way, you still haven't answered what happens when the servers die.
    It would be nice to be able to play this offline, but you can't, I tried. There was an internet outage in my area a few weeks ago. Picking Diamond Dynasty just kicked me back to the main menu.
    countryboy
    I’m done arguing with ignorance
    It’s gambling
    SDS is the devil
    Happy?
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    I'm not. Pledge your allegiance to the Cubs and we'll call it even
    :y1:
    countryboy
    I’m done arguing with ignorance
    It’s gambling
    SDS is the devil
    Happy?
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    You really are sensitive. Take your ball and go home lmao.
    I seriously think you have a mental illness.
    Anything remotely negative about the game and here comes Countryboy ready to suck off the developers!
    It's as sure of a thing as the sun setting in the west and water being wet.
    Like seriously, don't your knees ever get sore?
    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    You must feel so awesome making a post of that caliber. Like you really did something remotely worthwhile by making insinuations about me and calling me out. I can feel a tear working its way out of my eye and down my cheek right now as I type this.
    Pat yourself on the back...job well done.
    Rondoman1978
    You really are sensitive. Take your ball and go home lmao.
    I seriously think you have a mental illness.
    Anything remotely negative about the game and here comes Countryboy ready to suck off the developers!
    It's as sure of a thing as the sun setting in the west and water being wet.
    Like seriously, don't your knees ever get sore?

    To be fair to him, I absolutely agree with him that the game plays incredibly well on the field.
    I'm serious--The Show converted me from NBA 2K, which is far, far worse about that sort of thing, but I've given up on them until money-hungry CEO Strauss Zelnick is gone.
    Of EA, 2K and San Diego Studio, SDS is by far the least bad about this. Them removing microtransactions completely from RTTS was a big reason for my conversion, on top of the on-field gameplay being so great.
    I don't mean to blindly hate. The devs have done a fantastic job--seriously, I know some of them read this board, and if any read this, know that I do think you're amazing at your jobs.
    But I simply cannot stand for real money being used to buy these intangible cards that will disappear forever when the servers shut down. You KNOW children and those with addictive personalities are the "whales" of this. Just look at this British article.
    Earning stubs and cards through gameplay and experience points? That works well. I mean it, I would have almost NO problems with Diamond Dynasty if that was all it was. Now if only you could play it offline...
    But rat poison is 99.995% inert. It's that 0.005% that kills the rat. And the fact that you can purchase stubs with real money...no, I can't stand for it.
    I just hope that was an executive decision out of the devs' hands...again, I'm still stunned they were completely removed from RTTS. 2K's Strauss Zelnick would never do that. That's a great start.

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