MLB The Show 23 added a couple of big new features to Diamond Dynasty this year. One of the biggest new features added to the mode is Captain Cards. These are specially marked cards that can grant certain boosts. These boosts are based on how many specific cards are in your lineup.
Today, we are going to go over how these cards work. This guide will help explain how to tell what type of cards Captains boost, what type of boosts they give, and how to build your lineup to get the biggest boost. We will also look at some of the best specific Captains in the game so you know which ones to target for the type of team you want to build.
MLB The Show 23 Captain Card Guide
How Do Captains Work?
As mentioned earlier, Captain Cards grant boosts based on how your lineup is constructed. You can have one hitting and one pitching captain active on your team at a time. You choose your captain by going to the lineup screen and going to the left. Here you can scroll through the different captains you have equipped and choose which one to activate. To activate a Captain, select Captain Options and choose Assign as Hitting Captain or Assign as Pitching Captain.
This screen also shows you the three tiers you can reach and the boosts associated with each tier. This screen will also show you how many of the required card types are needed to reach each tier. Your Captain counts towards this count, and they will also receive any boost they grant.
For hitting Captains, all hitters on your squad are counted if they are the correct card type. This includes the cards on your bench. This means if you don’t plan on using your bench, you can load it with your Captain’s card type in order to help you reach the next tier. For pitching Captains, it depends on the card. Some Captains only boost relievers, some only boost starters, and some boost all the pitchers on your team. For this last type, you can again fill out your rotation or bullpen with extra cards to help you reach an extra boost.
What Kind of Captains Are There?
There are three types of Captains: Series Captains, Team Captains, and Specialty Captains. The first type, Series Captains, boosts players from a certain card series. For example, each team has a Live Series Captain. These are acquired by completing each team’s Live Series Collection. These Captains reward boosts to their team’s Live Series cards. There are also Captains for other series like Postseason Series, Veteran Series, and Topps Now Series.
The Live Series Captains give some of the biggest boosts in the entire game. This is because, in general, Live Series cards are weaker than cards from the other series in the game. The Live Series Captains for weaker teams also reward bigger boosts than those from stronger teams. For example, the Live Series Captain for the Nationals, Andre Dawson, can give up +45 to contact and power against lefties, +25 contact against righties, and +15 to fielding ability. Meanwhile Stan Musial, the Live Series Captain for the Cardinals, gives only +15 contact against righties, +20 contact against lefties, +10 power against lefties, and +20 to plate vision.
The second type of Captain is Team Captain. These Captains boost cards from a certain MLB club. These cards are acquired through Team Affinity Season 1. These cards in general give lower boosts than the series-based Captains. This is because any series can be used, including the more powerful ones like Charisma and Awards Series cards.
It should be noted that each card only counts toward a single team. This is so even if the player played for multiple teams during their career. For example, Mark McGwire played for both the Athletics and the Cardinals. However, his 99 OVR AL Live Series Collection reward card is an Athletics card. So if you have a Cardinals captain, this McGwire card will not get the boost.
The final type of Captain is what I call the Specialty Captain. These are the Captains that boost a unique type of card. Most of these Specialty Captains were available in the pre-order Captain Choice Pack. Derek Jeter’s card from this pack boosts all other Captains. David Wright boosts all former MLB The Show cover athletes. Nolan Ryan’s boosts any pitcher age 35 or older. Willie Mays boosts players from the 1950s and 1960s. The boosts from these cards are similar to the Team Captains. While there aren’t many of these in the game right now, more certainly could be added later to give more variety.
Best Captains in the Game
Now it is time to look at the best Captains in the game. Now to be one of the best Captains things have to be true. First, you need to give big boosts. But more importantly, the cards needed to get those boosts need to already be good cards on their own. You can boost a 65 OVR hitter as much as you want, you are gonna struggle to keep up with the 99 OVR Charisma Series cards. Without further ado, here are three of the best Captain cards for both hitting and pitching.
Tom Seaver, Mets Live Series Captain
This is my only Live Series Captain on this list. This inclusion has a lot more to do with how good the Mets Live Series pitchers are to start. Live Series pitchers for the Mets include three of the best Diamond pitchers: Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Edwin Diaz. If you can fill the rest of your rotation and bullpen with other Mets Live Series cards, you will have a very top-heavy rotation.
Seaver’s Tier 3 Boost grants +15 Stamina, +10 H/9, and +10 BB/9. The three pitchers mentioned earlier already have great H/9 and BB/9. Diaz will especially benefit from the Stamina boost, as this will allow you to use one of the best closers in the game for more than just one inning. If Kodai Senga continues to impress and gets upgraded in future roster updates, that will be just another addition to an already scary pitching staff.
Nolan Ryan, Grizzled Veteran Captain
This is one of my favorite Captains in the entire game. First off, it’s just a fun team-building concept. Ryan boosts any pitcher over the age of 35. Age usually doesn’t matter at all in Diamond Dynasty, so it is nice to see it mentioned for the first time in recent memory.
Nolan Ryan cards are always amazing, and this is no exception. Ryan has great stats, as well as the Outlier quirk on his fastball. He also gives good boosts, especially the third tier which gives +10 H/9 and +15 K/9.
The question with this card is are there any good pitchers that are 35 or older? So I decided to look for myself. For starters, there are 8 cards in the game that qualify for this boost and are 90 OVR or higher. The bullpen is a bit harder. Right now there is only one 90 OVR or higher reliever that is 35 or older. Hopefully, more older relivers will be released soon so this Captain becomes more viable.
Trevor Hoffman, Relief Pitcher Captain
This is without a doubt the best Pitching Captain in the entire game. Sadly, he was only available in the Captain Choice Pack through pre-orders. This means if you want him, you will need to get him off the marketplace.
Hoffman has extremely high per 9 stats, along with 99 break. This card boosts all relief pitchers, however, this does not include closing pitchers. Still, there are 8 relief pitchers currently in the game that are 90 OVR or higher. This means you can boost every single pitcher in your bullpen.
Derek Jeter, Captain Series Captain
On top of being one of the most anticipated new legends in the game in some time, this Jeter card has plenty of reasons to be your Captain. He gives boosts to contact both ways as well as batting clutch. This is extra important this year due to the changes to how clutch works.
This card boosts all other Captain cards in the game. It doesn’t matter what type of Captain they are, they will get these hitting boosts. This is a great option, especially early on in the game. There are 30 free Captain cards available in Team Affinity Season 1. With many of them being hitters, it won’t take you long to have an entire lineup of Captains to get the Tier 3 boost.
Aaron Judge, Yankees Team Captain
Now I know what you are going to say. However, my putting Judge on this list is not due to me being a Yankees fan. This card is more than deserving of its placement. First off, the card itself is very good. Tons of power both ways, good fielding and good enough speeds on the bases. The boosts on the card, while not the biggest, definitely add some pop with +10 power both ways and +15 arm strength. However, you will need to parallel this card a few levels to get the highest tier boost.
However, the biggest reason for this being a great card is how many high OVR Yankees cards are already in the game. Currently, there are 13 Yankees hitters that are 90 OVR or higher, with 5 being 99 OVR. This is more than enough to easily fill out your lineup and have an early beast of a theme team.
Buck O’Neil, Sanford Greene Captain
This is by far the best Captain in the game right now, and the first one you should try to get if you are just starting out in MLB The Show 23. It won’t be difficult to get this card either. All you have to do is complete all the Storylines episodes. Doing this will reward you with this card, as well as the eight other cards that this Captain can boost.
This is also one of the few two-way Captains that can boost both pitchers and hitters. This means you just have to have the other Sanford Greene cards somewhere on your squad, either in the lineup or rotation/bullpen. You only need 7 of the cards in your lineup to get the top boost.
You will definitely want that Tier 3 boost because it is a monster of a boost. Keep in mind, this card is a 95 OVR already, and the other Sanford Greene cards are 90 OVR. On top of these cards already being very good, the top boost grants +25 to power both ways, +25 H/9, and +25 BB/9. These boosts make this squad one of the best you can put out there. And all you have to do to get this team is play through one of the best historical game modes in the history of sports games.
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