How to mix pitches in MLB The Show 21

It's a shame that Near-Perfect Games aren't a statistic

We recently covered some standard beginner tips for MLB The Show 21, and briefly mentioned mixing your pitches. The main point of having a good mix of pitches in MLB The Show 21, or baseball in general, is to keep hitters off balance and always guessing which pitch is next. You don’t want to become predictable and have batters clubbing bombs over the fence. In this article we’ll check out some tips on how to mix pitches in MLB The Show 21.

Pitch repertoire

Pitchers need a wide array of tools to operate. You want to have a complementary set of pitches to pick and choose from when taking on a batter. Unless you’re Mariano Rivera, you won’t be throwing the same pitch every single time. You’ll typically want a fastball and some offspeed pitches to complement it.

Different pitches have very different breaks, so consider having a pitch for every direction. 2-Seam Fastballs break outside of a pitcher’s delivery (breaks off to the right if right-handed, breaks off left if left-handed), Sinkers have the illusion of a Fastball except slower and breaking towards the dirt, and 12-6 Curveballs have a very drastic vertical break from shoulders to knees.

Play around with different players and pitches and find the right mix for you. Some players love running with purely off-speed pitches, and others like blasting 100 MPH fastballs and switching it up with a 82 MPH changeup pitch to throw hitters’ timing off. There isn’t a right or wrong answer for pitching.

Mix your pitches well

Location, speed, and break. Those are the three main criteria you play with when you’re finding your mix of pitches in MLB The Show 21

  • Velocity

Pitch speeds have a minimum and maximum velocity. If you’re a starting pitcher, you’ll want to pitch towards the bottom end of the velocity meter to last deeper into games. Mixing pitch speeds keep batters off balance – meaning they won’t square up on a ball and launch it into the stands.

MLB The Show 21 mixing pitches
Image by San Diego Studio

Try to mix your fastball and throw in a breaking pitch or changeup to spice things up. You can also go the other route and throw mostly breaking pitches so that batters are dealing with a lot of movement and break.

  • Movement/Break

Vary your pitch movements to keep batters from understanding the look of your pitches. MLB The Show 21 is a lot different than the real thing, so you won’t be able to read the spin of pitches. With that said, it’s easy to trick players into swinging at bad pitches outside of the zone. Exaggerated breaks are more obvious to spot, while subtle breaks might not break harshly enough to strike someone out. I personally like a heavier break without setting it to the max.

  • Location

Location is key to commanding a pitch. Some of the best pitchers didn’t have overpowering pitches, but they could command the strikezone. If you can help it, don’t throw down the middle. Most of your pitches should be placed along the edges of the strikezone. Make the batter work for their hits by sticking to these locations.

Figure out where the “punch out” locations are. My go-to strikeout pitches are: fastball up or even out of the zone, splitter or changeup away and low, and Sliders breaking into the zone or away from the zone placed in the lower half. If you’re working in a pitcher’s count, see if you can make batters chase outside the zone. You have the real estate to play with, so it wouldn’t hurt to throw a ball.

Keep your eye on SQUAD for more MLB The Show 21 content!

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Aja Jones

Writer from Toronto, Canada. Can taste the difference between Coke and Pepsi. Learned how to play drums through Rock Band. Named after a Steely Dan album.
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