Defense can be an underrated aspect in baseball, even in a video game. In this guide, I will talk about how to implement shifts and when to implement them. This guide can apply for online and offline.
One of the biggest complaints about playing online is facing guys who rely on bunting and building teams with all speed. With the Bunt defense this should neutralize your opponent’s’ ability to successfully bunt for hits and will make them think twice about trying it.
There are two ways to set this defense:
1. You can hit down on the d-pad and just select bunt defense. This will bring the 1b and 3b in, however, and this may not be the most ideal defense for great contact hitters. Any ground ball hit towards 1b/3b will have a great chance for a hit. If your opponent is stubborn then keep implementing this shift until they want to swing the bat. Also, make sure to mainly pitch high in the zone to induce fly balls!
2. The other option is to hit the options button and go into the defensive positioning menu. This is how we had to do shifts in the past for MLB The Show and it is still effective. This can also allow you to cover 3b drag bunt, which is more ideal against those guys trying to bunt for base hits. You also have the option to set this defense every time that specific batter comes up to bat or you can just do it for that one time. This option will also allow you to be creative and manually change each fielder’s positioning for your desired bunt defense. For example, you can choose to not cover a guy at 2nd for a normal fielding depth, but hold the runner at 1st if you think he is slow enough to get a force out on the sac bunt.
This applies for offline and online, as well.
For offline, make sure to utilize your opponents’ spray charts to see what type of hitters they are. For example, if you face a team like the Blue Jays then Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista are dead pull hitters, so you may want to try out the extreme pull defense for right handed batters. Make sure to pitch into the shift or they can burn you.
For online, if you notice certain users cannot catch up to the heat then do not be afraid to put a slight push shift against them. A lot of online players cannot hit inside heat and will try to go up the middle with fastballs. This type of defense will shift your entire infield to the left/right and either the 2b or SS will be cheating towards the middle to take away those hits. The same can be applied for push hitters as well.
Using Park Dimensions to your Advantage
This is a very under utilized tool in MLB The Show and can give you a significant advantage against your opponents.
Certain parks have some very unique dimensions and using some modified shifts can give you a slight advantage. Some of these Parks include: Minute Maid, Polo Grounds, Crosley Field, Stomp Grounds, AT&T or Red Rocks. The classic stadiums are not available on the PS4, however.
Anyways for a park like Polo Grounds a shift like this will maximize your defensive efficiency:
1. Guard Lines
2. Play CF deep
3. Move RF and LF towards CF and play them normal depth
This is an ultimate no extra base hits defense and nothing should go in the gaps. You are conceding hits down the line, but since LF/RF walls are so short you can keep your opponents from getting doubles on hits down the line too.
Each park is a little different, so just try to use your head and be creative out there.
No Doubles Defense/Guarding Lines
This will not be done automatically for you! If your opponent has the tying/winning run on 1b and it is late in the game then you will want to use a no doubles defense! Play your OF deep and make sure your infield is guarding the lines.
There are other situations where you may want to guard the lines too. In fact, I suggest playing with this shift some, because I feel like my corner infielders will make better plays on balls and can convert more grounders to outs.
This will do it for the defensive shift guide. At the very least, these MLB 15 The Show Tips should have informed you that we all have tools to combat cheesy bunters and to maximize our defensive efficiency! Do not be afraid to play around with shifts, because it will get in the head of your opponent and this will add some diversity to your game!