If you are new to the MLB The Show series, the first thing to understand is that this game is as realistic as it gets in terms of simulation baseball. The show has included some updates to the pitching aspect of the game in this year’s edition.
This year there is an added significance to a pitchers repertoire. There is a focus on a pitchers best pitches and also more emphasis on locating those pitches. Tossing a meatball or a hanger over the middle of the plate this year has more chance to be parked over the fence. You should know some pitching basics to be able to take advantage of the batters you face. Pitching is all about setting up your approach, knowing the strengths of your pitcher, the batter, and being able to work different locations with changing speeds.
Let’s go over some basic pitching tips to get you off to a good start in MLB 19 The Show.
Get Ahead Early
One of the best ways to pitch deep into a game and have a successful outing is to get ahead early in the count. Especially if you are facing a lineup that has consistent power across the board.
Why is it important to get ahead early? When you get ahead of batters early you have more pitches to waste. If you’re able to get to more of the 0-2 or 1-2 counts, you can begin throwing more pitches out of the strike zone. The batter will not have as much discipline in these situations as they don’t want to be called out on strikes.
So what is the best way to get ahead early?
Play to the batter’s weakness around the plate and change speeds and locations often. In the below example you have Chris Sale facing off against Aaron Judge. Judge is a power batter that has the capability to send pretty much anything out of the yard. Therefore, some strategy here is to get him off balance. You could start by throwing a changeup low in the zone to get him off balance. If he bites on that pitch you now have the advantage of being ahead in the count.
Next, you could continue to keep him guessing and double up with another change up or throw a fastball down and in. Either way, mixing speeds and location will help you get in more of those 1-2 or 0-2 situations.
Understand the Situation
Baseball is a game of situations. There are numerous strategies that can be implemented to try and control those situations. Pitching decisions depend on the score of the game, runners on base, or inning your in. To get even more detailed you should assess the batter on deck, pinch hitters available, and whether they are a right or left-handed batter.
For example, in this situation, you have Zack Grenkie facing off against Cody Bellinger. Bellinger is a pull hitter and the defense has adjusted by playing in a shift. So what should you do as a pitcher? Pitch to the shift.
Work the ball toward the inside part of the plate, and keep the ball down. If Bellinger is going to beat you he’s going to pull a high inside fastball over the shift and out of the ballpark. Or, if you work him away that leaves the entire left side of the infield unaccounted for. An easy double comes from a pull hitter that slaps one out to short left field.
Sequence and Location
The next thing you can do as a newbie in pitching is work on setting batters up. The best way to strike out batters, and especially good batters is to get them off balance. For example, if your pitching with Max Scherzer you have his entire arsenal at your fingertips. Max brings a lively fastball to the plate mixed with a wicked change-up and nasty curveball.
By mixing speeds and placing those pitches in different locations you can find yourself ahead of batters and in position for more strikeouts. Feel out different patterns in the sequence of pitches you choose. Start your approach by targeting fastball in on the hands, then double it up with another, and they sneak in a one of Scherzer’s nasty curveballs or go down and away with a bottom dropping changeup for the strikeout.
Location works in the same way. Start by working one side of the plate and finish them off on the other side of the plate. Unless the batter you are facing has extremely great numbers on one side of the plate, then as a newbie, you can find success working both sides. You can also work high and low, but be careful as a newbie that if you misplace the pitch up in the zone there is a higher probability a good batter can send it out of the park.
Know your pitchers and rely on your best pitch
Pitchers can have a variety of repertoires. Some pitchers utilize only three pitchers, and others can throw the whole kitchen sink at you. But all pitchers have one or two really good pitchers over the others. It is really good to know your pitchers and how much all of their pitches break.
But if you want to be successful in MLB The Show 19 you want to always go to your best pitch in crucial situations. When the count is 3-2 and bases are loaded use your pitchers best pitch and give it everything you got to get the strikeout.
Get Out There And Collect Some Ks
Pitching in MLB The Show 19 is a fantastic and realistic experience. There’s nothing like the feeling of grabbing your teams ace pitchers and pitching so well the opposing batters feel like they’re on roller skates. Use these pitching tips to get yourself ready to command the mound. Who knows, each time you get out there you have a chance to throw the no-no or a perfect game. Last words, low and away keeps the home run away.