21 May 2021 8:42 PM +00:00

MLB The Show 21: Pitching Survival Guide and Tips

If you're in need of some pitching guidance for MLB The Show 21, then you've come to the right place.

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This guide covers all the various pitching styles and controls, as well as tips and tricks for beginners or advanced players to increase your strikeouts in MLB The Show 21.

Latest - Legendary Closer gets Player Program

If you're looking to improve your pitching in Diamond Dynasty, one of the best ways would be to complete the new 2nd Inning Player Program.

MLB The Show 21 has added a new program in Diamond Dynasty where players can unlock a Diamond All-Star Bruce Sutter with an 88 OVR rating.

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MLB The Show 21 2nd Inning Player Program Chicago Cubs Closing Pitcher Closer Bruce Sutter Diamond Dynasty
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CHICAGO STRIKEOUTS: That's what Sutter will be giving your squad

This powerful closing pitcher is already among the top options in Diamond Dynasty, and our guide will show you exactly what needs to be done to add him to your squad.

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Pitching Tips for Beginners

If you're new to pitching in baseball simulation games, there are some things to keep in mind that will apply regardless of which pitching interface you're using.

In general, you don't want to use the same pitches over and over again. Choosing different speeds, pitch types, and locations will all help trip up opposing batters.

MLB The Show 21 Pitching Guide Controls Starter Tips Beginners
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CHOOSE YOUR PITCH: Different pitchers have different choices

Keep in mind that you can walk a batter, which is especially useful if you're in a close game with a player already on base and a dangerous batter is up.

Also make sure to keep an eye on your pitcher's confidence and energy throughout the game, and warm up a replacement from the bullpen when you spot them starting to get low.

Pitching Controls in MLB The Show 21

While some pitching controls can vary between interfaces, the following miscellaneous pitching controls stay the same regardless of interface.

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CATCH ALL CONTROLS: You'll need to know each of these no matter what
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CATCH ALL CONTROLS: You'll need to know each of these no matter what

Of these, the most useful are being able to use a deceptive move or choosing to pickoff a runner that's trying to steal a base.

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It's good to frequently use L2 to check on runners on base in case they are thinking about stealing.

Positioning the ball in the zone will always be done with the left stick prior to beginning the pitch, and you'll always use Circle, Square, X, Triangle, and R1 to choose your pitch type.

Pinpoint Pitching

The newest interface for pitching in MLB The Show 21 is called Pinpoint Pitching, and it's easily the most challenging one in the game this year.

MLB The Show 21 Pitching Guide Controls Pinpoint
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RISK AND REWARD: Pinpoint is difficult, but pays off when done well

However, that challenge comes with huge reward if you're able to practice and master Pinpoint Pitching.

Pinpoint utilizes a combination of gesture and timing, but if either of those two things are off your pitch can go wildly out of the zone.

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MLB The Show 21 Pitching Guide Controls Pinpoint
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WATCH CLOSELY: The exact gesture speed can vary each time

Watch the example gesture a few times if you need to, and try to follow the exact motion and speed closely, using the two shrinking blue circles as a guide for the timing of the final downward flick.

Without accuracy and practice, it's not uncommon to end up walking multiple batters because so many pitches go wide and are called as a ball.

Classic Interface

If Pinpoint Pitching seems incredibly overwhelming, you can instead go with Classic, which is the simplest and easiest to use interface in MLB The Show 21.

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MLB The Show 21 Pitching Guide Controls Classic Interface
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KEEP IT SIMPLE: Classic will give you the fun without the difficulty

There's no detailed or intricate timing to the Classic Interface, and the ball will go relatively where you tell it to each time.

However, as a less precise method, it will be easier for batters to hit pitches thrown in Classic when compared to well-executed pitches in other interfaces.

Meter Pitching

If you want to step up from Classic without getting too difficult, the Meter Interface is one of the most-used in MLB The Show through the years.

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MLB The Show 21 Pitching Guide Controls Meter Interface
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DOUBLE INPUT: You'll need multiple button presses with Meter

It's basically what it sounds like, as you'll make an initial press to start the Meter and stop the bar as close to the top as you can to maximize power.

When the bar comes back down, there will be a sweet spot to stop it at which will control how accurately thrown the pitch ends up being.

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MLB The Show 21 Pitching Guide Controls Meter Interface
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RIGHT POWER, RIGHT TIME: Nail both to execute the pitch just like you want

Meter is a great stepping stone towards more difficult pitching styles, or you can stick to Meter for the long-haul if it's what you prefer.

Pulse Pitching

If you want a different kind of timing challenge without things getting too complicated, Pulse Pitching might be the right fit.

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AUTOMATIC POWER: Pulse takes adjustable power out of the equation
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AUTOMATIC POWER: Pulse takes adjustable power out of the equation

Pulse Pitching will begin in the same way other interfaces do, but this time you'll be challenged to nail a single button press for timing.

Power won't come into play based on your input, but you need to press X at the smallest possible point to get perfect accuracy.

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MLB The Show 21 Pitching Guide Controls Pulse
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THE SHADOW: Watch closely to get a feel for the speed of the Pulse

Fortunately, you can see her the immediate feedback given by the game about how well-timed your Pulse input was so you can adjust for the next pitch.

Pure Analog

The fifth and final option for pitching in MLB The Show 21 is the Pure Analog Interface, which is probably the least used of the five.

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MLB The Show 21 Pitching Guide Controls Pure Analog
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ANALOG INTERFACE: Get the timing right to nail power and accuracy

While not a favorite, Pure Analog can also provide a manageable challenge when compared to Pinpoint Pitching.

If you're not yet sure which pitching style you prefer, give Pure Analog a try, and you'll need to use the right stick entirely to get the timing down.

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MLB The Show 21 Pitching Guide Controls Pure Analog
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FLICK AND FLICK: It's all on the stick with Pure Analog

Like most of these interfaces, it'll take some time to really nail the nuances and start executing pitches like you want to.

Fortunately, the new and improved Practice Mode is exactly what you need to perfect your pitching in MLB The Show 21.

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How to use Practice Mode for Pitching

If you want to try out the various pitching interfaces or perfect your skills with a specific one, the best way to do that is in Practice Mode while you nail down the controls.

When on the Main Menu, move down until you reach Custom Practice, and selecting it will prompt you to choose a team to practice with and one to practice against.

MLB The Show 21 Pitching Guide Controls Practice Mode
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PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Keep going until you're ready

Once in, you can choose exactly which pitcher you want to practice with and which batter to put yourself against, even deciding whether you want to show the batter at all during practice.

Once you're in Practice mode, you can safely test out things until you're comfortable without it affecting any ongoing games or challenges.