MLB: The Show 20 – 2nd Inning Showdown Strategy and Tips


This is a guide to help you complete the 2nd inning showdown on MLB the Show 20. I’ve tried to provide as much information as possible assist you. If anything is wrong or missing, or if you have some helpful advice to share, put it in the comments.

I’ve also created this workbook to help you track your wins and losses in showdown. It reminds me of the stubs I lost when I first started it.

You may also want to check out these two guys’ video playthrough and guide.

Entry Cost

500 stubs

The Draft

The 2nd Inning Showdown starts with the draft.

You are going to be offered these 4 players in the first round:

Player Name Rating Primary Position Secondary Position(s)
Joe Carter 93 overall RF 1B, LF, CF
Hanley Ramirez 92 overall SS 3B
Al Kaline 86 overall RF 1B, LF, CF
Bob Feller 93 overall SP n/a

I don’t think you can go wrong with either Hanley Ramirez or Joe Carter. Both are good cards that give you flexibility during the remaining showdown. I have yet to take Feller since SP are not that needed during this showdown, but I have seen someone say that the final boss will be Ken Giles if you select Feller.

You are then going to be offered these 4 players in the second round:

Player Name Rating Primary Position Secondary Position(s)
Wade Boggs 84 overall RF 1B, LF, CF
Jonathan Schoop 82 overall SS 3B
Ron Guirdy 81 overall SP n/a
Steve Bedrosian 82 overall RP n/a

I took Boggs the first time through, but now take Schoop and never look back.

From there, you will have the opportunity to draft 6 more players and a bronze perk. I don’t know the entire player pool, but it does seem as though there are a finite number of players to choose from. I advise targeting hitters as much as possible. You’ll want to avoid stacking up on filled positions, but pay attention to secondary positions. You can get creative to squeeze in the best hitters available.

I also tend to target hitters who are strong against right-handers. Most pitchers, including the bosses throughout, are right-handed.

You will almost never need more than 1 starting pitcher and more than 1 relief pitcher. The only time I have ever needed more is when a few missions have gone longer than expected (e.g., the 3rd mission can sometimes go to extra innings if you can’t connect for a home run). I tend to avoid pitchers until forced to take one in the draft. And then I like to make sure I have a good relief pitcher to help with a couple missions that require it.

There is a finite number of players you will be offered, but typical strategy is to load up on the best hitters. This showdown, though, does have multiple events that feature your RP. So, when you are forced to select a pitcher I would choose the best RP and make sure they are slotted in at closer (note: the game should automatically put your best relief pitcher in the closer slot, but I always verify before starting).

Missions Breakdown

1st Mission | Difficulty: Rookie

Situation

Your team is facing Bob Feller and the Indians. You need to get off to a good start, which means your goal is to get through the 1st inning without giving up a run. And you need to get two base hits, as well as a run, in the bottom half of the first inning.

Duration 1 inning
Goals Tally 2 hits
Score 1 run
Don’t give up a run
Don’t make 3 outs
Showdown Runs Awarded 1 run
Showdown Draft Picks 2 silver perks
Other Rewards 75 stubs
300 experience points

Strategy You will start the inning as the pitcher. As mentioned above, it is not really worth investing in a SP. However, that means you need to maneuver past (without giving up a run) the first 3 hitters of the Indians lineup: Carlos Santana, Francisco Lindor, and Jose Ramirez.

Once you pass that, you’ll be facing Bob Feller who is a right-handed pitcher. Stack up the lefties, or whoever you feel comfortable with, at the top of the order. Since it is on Rookie I feel fairly comfortable that I can mash homers, so I tend to target hitters with good rating for power against RHP (note: I don’t know his rating off the top of my head, but the 82 Schoop card in the 2nd round of the draft has consistently played above expectation for me).

2nd Mission | Difficulty: Rookie

Situation

You face a single batter with your closer. Unfortunately the batter is Joe Carter (93 overall).

OR

Your opponent starts with the bases loaded and no outs. Hanley Ramirez (92 overall) is leading off. You must not give up 2 runs.

Strategy

You may be a better pitching strategy, but I have had success with high heat. In other words, keep fastballs at the top of the zone or just above. He typically will connect, but the result has generally been a flyout (6 runs, with only once resulting in a gap double).

If you have the Hanley scenario, I focused on keeping the ball down and looking for double plays and strike outs.

Joe Carter scenario

Duration 1 batter
Goals Do not allow Joe Carter to reach base through hit, walk, or HBP
Showdown Runs Awarded 1 run
Showdown Draft Picks 1 silver batter
1 silver pitcher
Other Rewards 75 stubs
350 experience points

Hanley Ramirez scenario:

Duration 1 inning
Goals Do not give up 2 or more runs
Showdown Runs Awarded 1 run
Showdown Draft Picks 1 silver batter
1 silver pitcher
Other Rewards 75 stubs
350 experience points

3rd Mission | Difficulty: Rookie

Situation You must hit a home run before the other team scores a run. You will be facing John Means who is a left-handed pitcher. It is important to note that Means will tire easily (around 30 pitches), so working the count and facing lots of pitches can pay off in the 3rd inning if you’re not able to hit a home run with your better players in the first or second (e.g., I managed to complete this one with Martin Prado when Means was at 41 pitches). You may also want to priortize hitters with power over more contact-oriented hitters (e.g., Wade Boggs)

Instead of your starting pitcher, you will start the game with your closer.

Duration 3-inning game, which can include extra innings
Goals Hit 1 Home Run
Do not give up 1 run
Showdown Runs 2 runs
Reward 1 gold perk
1 silver batter
Other Rewards 75 stubs
350 experience points

4th Mission (Boss #1) | Difficulty: Rookie

Situation: You face Mychanl Givens (right-handed Orioles reliever), Matt Barnes (right-handed Red Sox reliever), or Steve Bedrosian (right-handed Braves legendary reliever) You will start with the bases loaded and hae seven outs to score at least four runs.

Strategy
The three hitters at the top of your lineup start on base. You should adjust your squad lineup to put your worst three hitters in the first, second, and third spots. I have not tried this, but you may even consider putting bench players in those slots; this would allow you to then bring players off the bench to pinch-hit when they come to bat, which gives you flexibility with how you want to approach (e.g., contact vs. power).

You should also note the outs are continuous; that is, the inning does not reset after 3 outs.

Load your lineup with any players that have advantages against right-handed pitchers.

Duration Until 7 outs are recorded
Goals Take the lead (i.e., score 4 runs)
Reward 1 gold perk
1 gold player
Other Rewards 1 silver player pack
250 stubs
1000 experience points

5th Mission | Difficulty: Veteran

Situation

Face the Dodgers in a 3-inning game. You must score 3 runs without allowing the Dodgers to score 3 runs. Julio Urias (left-handed) is the starting pitcher.

OR

Face the Indians in a 3-inning game. Still must score 3 runs without giving up 3 runs, but this time you are facing Bob Feller (right-handed) and the Indians.

Strategy

Strategy here will depend on which pitcher you face, and how your bench looks. Ideally you want to stack up hitters with a platoon advantage. Most likely this means you will be putting your better left-handed hitters in against Feller and your better right-handed hitters in against Urias.

Duration 3-inning game, no extra innings
Goals Score 3 runs
Don’t make 9 outs
Don’t strike out 2 times
Don’t give up 3 runs
Showdown Runs Awarded 1 run
Showdown Draft Picks 1 gold player
1 silver pitcher
Other Rewards 150 stubs
500 experience points

6th Mission | Diffficulty: Veteran

Situation
You have a single at-bat with the bases loaded and the game tied. Score a run and win the mission.

Strategy

Put your best hitter in the cleanup slot. I encountered Wilmer Font (right-handed) in a Joe Carter themed mission, so this may play into your strategy.

Duration 1 batter
Goals Win the game
Showdown Runs Awarded 2 run
Showdown Draft Picks 1 gold player
1 gold perk
Other Rewards 150 stubs
600 experience points

7th Mission | Difficulty: Veteran

Situation

In honor of Wade Boggs’ rookie campaign, you’re required to get 4 hits, at least two of which must be extra-base hits. On the pitching side, you must not give up 2 runs.

Strategy

You may consider trading out contact hitters for more power-based hitters. That said, even contact hitters are good for hitting gap-doubles. The pitcher for this mission has always been Eduardo Rodriguez, Boston Red Sox left-hander.

Duration 3-inning game
Goals Tally 4 hits
Tally 2 extra-base hits
Don’t give up 2 runs
Showdown Runs Awarded 2 runs
Showdown Draft Picks 1 gold player
1 gold perk
Other Rewards 150 stubs
650 experience points

8th Mission (2nd boss)

Situation

In this elimination mission, you must score 4 runs before making 13 outs. It’s similar to the 4th mission, except you have more outs but no runners on base to start the mission.

You will face one of two pitchers:

  • Shane Bieber, RHP for Cleveland Indians
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP for Toronto Blue Jays

Strategy

Set your lineup based on who you are facing. Bieber: advantage lefties, Ryu: advantage righties.

Duration 13 outs
Goals Score 4 runs
Showdown Runs Awarded 0 runs
Showdown Draft Picks 1 diamond player
1 diamond perk
Other Rewards 1 silver player pack
300 stubs
1,000 experience points

9th Mission | Difficulty: Veteran

Situation
Take on Hanley Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers in this mission, which requires you to accumulate 3 hits (of which one must be an extra-base hit) before making 6 outs across two innings (3 outs per inning).

David Price is the starting pitcher for the Dodgers.
Strategy

By this point, you should have at least a couple silver or gold players sitting on the bench. Figure out who is best against left-handed pitching and stack them at the top of your lineup.

Note: Not a strategy, but I learned just how bad I am at hitting changeups. I never could time Price’s delivery.

Duration 2 innings
Goals Tally 3 hits
Tally 1 extra-base hit
Showdown Runs Awarded 2 runs
Showdown Draft Picks 1 gold player
1 diamond perk
Other Rewards 250 stubs
800 experience points

10th Mission | Difficulty: Veteran

Situation
Classic 9th inning matchup. You face a top closer (in my case, Steve Bedrosian) and must score two runs in the 9th inning order to win the game.
Strategy

Bedrosian is a right-hander, so plan accordingly.

Duration 1 inning
Goals Score 2 runs
Showdown Runs Awarded 2 runs
Showdown Draft Picks 1 diamond player
Other Rewards 250 stubs
850 experience points

11th Mission

Situation

You must hit 4 extra-base hits during a 3-inning game.

Strategy

If your missions is against Toronto, then you should face right-handed pitcher Chase Anderson. By this point you hopefully have at least a couple of extra hitters on the bench so you can take advantage of any hitters who are better against righties.

This one may be bending the rules, or at least the spirit of the game. If you don’t have your 4 extra-base hits by the end of your 3 innings, then make sure the game is tied before the end of the computer’s half of the 3rd inning.

Duration 3-inning game
Goals Tally 4 extra-base hits
Showdown Runs Awarded 2 runs
Showdown Draft Picks 1 diamond player
1 diamond perk
Other Rewards 250 stubs
900 experience points

12th Mission (Final Boss)

Situation

You must take the lead before recording 20 outs. The number of runs you must score depends on how well you did on all of the missions during the showdown.

In the final mission, you can face:

  • Bob Feller, RHP
  • Ken Giles, RHP
  • David Price, LHP

I have not encountered David Price, so I cannot speak to him. You definitely want to face Ken Giles (~50 pitches) who tires much more quickly than Bob Feller (>90 pitches).

Strategy

You should start by noting the handedness of the three pitchers: Giles and Feller are both right-handed, whereas Price is left-handed. This should factor into how you construct your final boss lineup.

I’ve seen someone say the strategy is to reset the showdown once you see you will be facing Bob Feller instead of Ken Giles. That seems extreme, but then again, I defeated Giles pretty easily and have yet to defeat Bob Feller. Then again, I’m still, um, growing as a hitter.

The strategy with Giles is to be as patient as possible and let him tire himself out. As noted above, this happens once he is over 50 pitches. He is hittable before this, but afterwards it becomes a “sit on fastball down the middle” time.

I’m not the best person to advise on Feller since I have yet to defeat him. Two ways you can approach this: attempt to tire him down (though you have a long road…I’ve seen one person say it takes over 110 pitches) or sit fastball and try to ignore the rest.

Duration 20 outs
Goals Take the lead.
Showdown Runs Awarded 1 run
Showdown Draft Picks none (it’s the end!)
Other Rewards 1 gold player pack
1,000 stubs
2,500 experience points

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