Five Essential Tips For MLB: The Show 20 Free-To-Play Players

Don’t Waste Money On Pack Openings

Everyone loves to rip packs in MLB: The Show, including myself. The sheer exhilaration of not knowing what you’re getting is only matched by the jubilation that comes with pulling a diamond from a standard pack. It’s part of the reason we play the game. However, it is an incredibly poor idea when it comes to resource management.

As a free to play player, you will only gain stubs from in-game activities or playing the market, making each and every one a precious commodity. While opening packs is super exciting, it rarely pays off in a major way, as the countless commons and bronzes you’ll pull greatly outweigh that one time you were blessed with a Gerrit Cole. It’s a much more effective strategy to simply save your stubs and place buy orders for cards as you need them, ensuring you get each one for the lowest possible price.

This isn’t to say that you can never buy packs. If you like the odds of a certain pack or even just feel like gambling, that’s fine. I myself have splurged on flash sales, but just make sure that you keep pack openings to a minimum, as the odds are never in your favor and the house always wins.

Use the Free Players that you’re Given

While other sports games like NBA2K and Madden make it almost impossible for free to
play players to field top tier squads, MLB: The Show offers numerous opportunities to acquire diamond level players at no other cost than simply playing the game. For instance, each team’s ‘Team Affinity’ program offers a lower tier diamond which can be obtained by a solid March to October run, or with a few successful Showdown runs.

In addition to that, ‘Conquest’ offers a rookie Willie Mays card while the XP Reward Path affords players a plethora of opportunities to choose free diamonds to suit their team’s needs. Without spending a dime, players can unlock 99 overall Ryne Sandberg, Barry Larkin, Reggie Jackson and Corey Kluber via the XP Reward Path, not to mention the other golds and diamonds available along the way.

This particular strategy does require a fair bit of effort, as XP is only acquired through playing the game,but the rewards are most definitely worth it.

Don’t give up on ‘Moments’

This tip may be speaking more to myself rather than the player base as a whole, but
‘Moments’ can be INCREDIBLY frustrating. The game mode was and still is a terrific addition to the MLB: The Show series, as it allows players the opportunity to jump into specific points in time and recreate iconic moments in athletes’ careers.

For the most part, moments are quick, easy and quite enjoyable.

However, Sony San Diego does like to give its players a challenge, throwing in some very difficult moments in some player programs. As I type this, I am struggling with the Omar Vizquel program, as his low-30’s power has prevented me from racking up extra base hits with the Hall of Fame worthy shortstop. I often find myself needing to take breaks from certain moments, or simply from the game entirely in order to avoid putting my
controller through the wall in frustration.

With that said, frustration should never stop you from achieving moments, as they are most definitely worth it. By succeeding at this aspect of the game, you can earn some incredibly valuable diamonds for your squad, including Carlos Gonzalez, Kerry Wood, Honus Wagner, Dennis Eckersley and Curtis Granderson. Plus, you’ll rack up a more than healthy amount of XP and stubs along the way.

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Be Deliberate About Your Spending

Given the fact that MLB: The Show gifts players enough free diamonds to field a respectable team, it is not a necessity to buy every single player on your squad outright. Instead, it can be advantageous to identify positions of need, or set personal goals and make calculated decisions.

As an example, the XP Reward Path contains packs that give players both a Player of the Month Gary Sanchez, as well as an Awards Series Buster Posey. Now, it may take a good deal of time to earn both catchers, but it is fairly quick and easy to obtain Sanchez, and then later you can upgrade to Posey. With this in mind, it may not be the smartest idea to blow a huge chunk of stubs on the new Salvador Perez, since Buster Posey is a comparable player anyway. Instead, those stubs can be reallocated to, say, a left-handed reliever, where there aren’t nearly as many quality options.

In my own life, I have set a goal for myself to complete the entire MLB collection during the life-cycle of this game. While this can easily be achieved with the swipe of a
debit card, I have neither the desire nor the funds needed to do this, and so instead; I’m
deliberately spending my stubs on the players that I need in order to meet this goal. I’m
forgoing other, more flashy cards in order to do this.

Complete Collections

Another cost-effective way to gain XP, as well as acquire quality cards, is by completing collections. The obvious caveat to this method is that some collections are quite pricey. For instance, the Angels require a 300,000 stub player in Mike Trout. However, the
majority of teams can be completed for less than 20,000 stubs and will net you a ton of XP, as well as progress towards Team Affinity and the collection reward player. The Texas Rangers don’t have a diamond player on their team, making it a very affordable collection, and the reward of 84 overall Michael Young can be very useful off the bench, as well as earning “10 Team.”

Affinity points to go towards the diamond Joey Gallo. For a little bit more, you can complete the Oakland A’s and net yourself 88 overall Sean Doolittle, who is one of the very best southpaw relievers in the game.

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