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MLB The Show 21 pitching

MLB The Show 21 Beginner’s Guide to Pitching

How well do you negotiate with potent opposing lineups in MLB The Show 21? Our beginner’s guide will help you find success online in Battle Royale and Diamond Dynasty against the competition. 

MLB The Show 21 Pitching Gameplan

The Show provides feedback on your pitch inputs and the batter’s timing. Both are important to study. Learn your opponent’s tendencies and timing on your pitch mix, and adjust accordingly. 

Pitch sequencing and tunneling

Pitch sequencing is a component of your pitching game plan. Sequencing consists of a set of pitches thrown in consecutive order that complement one another. Study your pitcher’s ratings and pitch offerings: cutters, sinkers, and sliders compliment four-seam fastballs. Throwing pitches in the same window or “tunnel” puts added pressure on the batter to identify the pitch speed and pitch selection. If you throw a cutter and four-seam fastball inside on consecutive pitches in the same window, this can move a hitter off-balance. I’ve found tunneling to be most effective in the upper quadrants of the hitting zone. These zones are more tempting to swing at and signal fastball to a hitter. Take advantage of the perception of pitches in this zone, and tunnel various pitches that move on both the horizontal and vertical axis.


Your pitching data is available in the pause menus, and your primary and secondary pitch will be your most effective and accurate. Your opponent will understand this and prepare for your best pitches. Are you throwing all heavy fastballs up in the zone and off-speed low and outside? What kind of pitches can you offer that will change the hitter’s timing? Study, recalibrate, and execute.

MLB The Show 21 offers a variety of pitching controls to learn.

Bullpen Management

Have a game plan for your bullpen. Utilize pitchers with various arm slots and pitch types to force your opponent to adjust late in games. Have a working knowledge of your pitcher’s throwing animations. You can catch a glimpse of their mechanics by going to your bullpen in the pause menu. Be sure to give relievers an inning to warm up and use platoon splits (righty/lefty matchups) to your advantage.

Metered Pitching

Metered pitching is the default throwing mechanic in MLB The Show. It is a classic input meter. Stop it on time. The first input represents velocity and influences the second input, pitch location. The more velocity you deliver, the less accurate the pitch will become. The down-swing meter requires a second button press for pitch accuracy. Ratings will drive outputs, and outputs will vary. The more precise you are, the more confidence your pitcher will build, resulting in higher quality pitches. Keep in mind if you stop the pitch early, the pitch finishes high. Conversely, if you button-press late on the down-swing meter, the pitch finishes low. You will want to be late on off-speed pitches rather than early.

Classic Pitch Controls

The classic control mechanic is the easiest to use because it requires only one button press. Pick your pitch location and let it fly. This mechanic offers the least amount of pitch speed and accuracy control. Ratings drive it. Consider this mechanic auto-pilot for pitching.

Pure Analog Pitching

Skills on the right stick determine the success of the pitch outcomes with this throwing mechanic. It requires two inputs along with locating your pitch on the left analog. The closer you land on the marker and sweet spot, the more accurate the pitch will be. Most competitive games deployed this mechanic in previous iterations of MLB The Show. It offers up added accuracy. 

MLB The Show 21 Advanced Tip: Learn your pitcher’s throwing animations from the wind-up and the stretch.

Advanced Tip: Animations 

Throwing motions are synced with the input timing mechanics to a certain degree, giving you an idea of when to initiate your button presses or analog flicks. Get familiar with the throwing animations of your favorite pitchers in both their normal wind-ups and from the stretch. Doing so will prepare you for variations in timing requirements in stressful in-game situations. 

MLB The Show 21 offers deep controls and rich feedback data.

Pulse Pitching

The Pulse Pitching mechanic requires a button input when the circle pulses at its smallest, resulting in the most accurate results. Pulse pitching is one input and therefore lacks control and velocity while simplifying the game for you. It is a fun and simple mechanic, driven by player ratings. Ratings include stamina and confidence as the game progresses.


Pinpoint is the newest pitching mechanic dreamed up by Sony San Diego for MLB The Show 21. This mechanic is quite complex and considered the most challenging. Since Pinpoint requires the most inputs from the gamer, the mechanic intended to be the most rewarding system. Pinpoint requires precision timing, precision analog gesturing, and precision analog accuracy. The Show offers detailed grades for each one of the three inputs. 

Analog controls, while flawed, are the closest we have to the speed and accuracy of a computer mouse. It follows that the jury is out on how well the Pinpoint mechanic performs as it is an analog-heavy game mechanic.

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Ryan Ledner
Ryan Ledner
1 month ago

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