If you need MLB The Show 21 pitching tips, these pointers will lower your ERA and catch batters looking at called strike-threes.

MLB The Show 21 Pitching Tips: Settings, Chasing Cold Zones, and More

If you need MLB The Show 21 pitching tips, these pointers will lower your ERA and catch batters looking at called strike-threes.

It’s Opening Day for MLB The Show 21, and this year’s game is both great, as you can read in our MLB The Show 21 review, and multiplatform for the first time, coming to Xbox platforms alongside Sony systems. That means some MLB The Show 21 pitching tips could go a long way to helping players new and old compete on the diamond.

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Whether you’re playing on Xbox for the first time or jumping in on PlayStation, there is always more to learn. Here are our best MLB The Show 21 pitching tips to lower your ERA and keep the bases empty.

Pick the Best Pitching Settings For You

Pitching settings and controls are even more varied in MLB The Show 21 than the three-pronged batting control scheme on offer. There are five different ways to pitch in MLB The Show: 

  • The brand-new Pinpoint Pitching
  • Meter
  • Pure Analog
  • Pulse
  • Classic

These settings offer widely different control schemes, so it will take some time determining which you like best.

We landed on Meter, which combines each pitch’s accuracy and power into a quicktime event not unlike kicking an extra point in Madden, but your preference may be another. Spend time with each one and find the one that you feel you have most control over. Then practice. 

Chase a Batter’s Cold Zones

Every batter has hot and cold spots illustrated in their strike zone with red or blue squares respectively.

The red areas are where the batter is most proficient, so you ought not to challenge them there. The blue zones, meanwhile, are where a batter is vulnerable, so landing accurate pitches in those zones is more likely to sneak past the batter as their plate coverage just doesn’t allow them much proficiency in those spots. 

Use the Intentional Walk Strategically

In baseball, walking a batter isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes you’ll want to do it on purpose to get a runner on first and set yourself up for a double-play ball.

To intentionally walk a batter, hold L1 and press circle on PlayStation 4 and PS5. You’ll throw the ball high and away, well out of the strike zone. If you’ve got a dangerous slugger at the plate with an open first base, it may be best to move him to first, then hope the next batter grounds one to the infield. You can turn the tide of an inning or even a game with this strategy.

Listen to Your Catcher

Before every pitch, your catcher will give you a signal to throw a certain pitch in your repertoire to a certain area over the plate. You should listen to him, especially if you’re a beginner.

The placement is visualized as a catcher’s mitt shown in a certain spot, while the preferred pitch will be visualized with a rippling animation over a pitch type. The game has a good way of mixing in smart pitch selection and placement, so if you’re lost, let your pitcher guide you. It’s what he’s there for.

Know Your Umpire

Umpires are fallible. That’s true in real life and in The Show. That means their view of a strike zone is not perfect by default. They might call a clear ball a strike, or vice versa, and pitches landing on the perimeter of the strike zone can go either way.

If you don’t like this feature, you can change it in the game options under Umpire settings, moving them from realistic to “perfect,” which means you will get called balls and strikes according to the true strike zone.

Those are our MLB The Show 21 pitching tips, including the game’s different pitching settings, as well as how to walk batters and use your catcher and the umpire to get strike-outs and fly-outs.  


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Mark Delaney
Mark is a dad, husband, bicyclist, animal rights activist, and a gamer, of course. You can find him on all platforms covering co-op, indies, horror, battle royale, or whatever else he's obsessing over right now. In addition to GameSkinny, he's been published on GameSpot, IGN, GamesRadar, EGM, Escapist, Official Xbox Magazine, and a bunch of other great outlets.