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How to make the BEST MLB the Show TEAM POSSIBLE in ANY situation!

August 16, 2022 by Corey

Building the best possible team in MLB the Show can be more of an art than a science.  But, having assistance of ShowZone’s extremely powerful scientific tools is an amazing foundational starting point before you start painting your rendition of the Sistine Chapel with your MLB the Show squad.

Step 1 – Identifying the cards you can use to build your team

The first step in building your team is understanding what all cards should be included in the “pool” of players for the ShowZone optimizer.  To do this in Team Builder, start by clicking the ‘Filters’ button at the top-right of the screen and cutting down the pool of players to only the cards you can use in your specific situation.  A few examples are shown below.  If you can use any card, feel free to skip to Step 2!

  • Can you only use players in your inventory? Check the box that says ‘Use Your Inventory’ (note, if you haven’t synced your Inventory with ShowZone – you should!):

  • Are you building a grind-squad for the new Griffey program, where you can only use cards from the Reds, White Sox, and Mariners? Set the ‘Teams’ filter to only include Reds, White Sox, and Mariners cards:

  • Are you in a custom league where it is Live Series cards only? Set the ‘Series’ filter to only include Live Series cards:

  • Are you rolling with a theme-team and want to play with only guys from the Dominican Republic? Set the ‘Born’ filter to only include players from the Dominican Republic:

After you’ve filtered down to the cards that you can use for your team, simply click the check-box at the top of the filters pop-up window:

Step 2 – Identifying the Constraints for your roster

The second step in building the best possible team using ShowZone’s Team Builder is identifying what Constraints you need to apply to your roster.  To explain the concept of constraints quickly – a constraint is anything that applies to the collective of players and not just individuals, i.e. the team must be no higher than a 95 overall, the team must cost no more than 150,000 stubs, etc.  You can apply these constraints by clicking the ‘Generate’ button at the top-right of the screen.  If you don’t have any constraints and can simply create the best possible team, you can skip to Step 3!

The available constraints currently are as follows (feel free to shoot us a message if there is something else you would like to apply that we don’t have as an option yet!):

  • Maximum Team Costs – keeps the team at or under a certain cost, using only cards on the market.
  • Maximum Team Overall – keeps the team at or under a certain overall rating.  So if the event or custom league you’re playing in happens to be limited to a certain overall, you can apply that here.
  • Minimum Lefty/Switch Hitters – if you like a certain number of lefties/switch hitters in your lineup, set a minimum here to be sure the roster has at least that many.
  • Minimum Lefty Starting Pitchers – if you like a certain number of lefty starting pitchers in your rotation, set a minimum here to be sure the roster has at least that many.
  • Minimum Lefty Relief Pitchers – if you like a certain number of lefty relievers in your bullpen, set a minimum here to be sure the roster has at least that many.

Step 3 – Setting the target or objective attribute (ShowZone Pro GOLD+ Feature)

The third step in building the best possible team for any scenario is setting the ‘Target’ or the ‘Objective’ attribute for each position group in the last three fields of the ‘Generate’ pop-up window.  Here, you can select what attribute the ShowZone optimization engine will use to optimize your roster.  You can change the drop-downs to optimize on the following attributes for each position group, where the optimizer defaults to True Overall:

  • Hitter optimization targets: True Overall, Meta Overall, Contact, Power, Speed, Fielding
  • Starting Pitcher optimization targets: True Overall, Meta Overall, Velocity, Break, Control, Contact, Power, Speed, Fielding
  • Relief Pitcher optimization targets: True Overall, Meta Overall, Velocity, Break, Control, Contact, Power, Speed, Fielding

Set yours to your liking and how you would like to build your team, then click the ‘Generate Roster’ button at the bottom of the pop-up window and let the ShowZone optimizer go to work.

A couple seconds will pass while it’s optimizing, then voila!  Your roster is generated and optimized by the targets/objectives you set in Steps 2 & 3 while using the filters/pool of players you defined in Step 1:

Step 4 – Analyzing and adjusting the automatically generated roster

Now, you may see some of the players in the generated team and think “what the!?!? I suck with Juan Marichal!” or “there are no lefties in my bullpen!” Well we have great news for you – all you have to do is simply click that card and swap them out for another, or you can go back and adjust your constraints using the ‘Generate’ button and add a ‘Minimum Lefty Relief Pitchers’ constraint to your bullpen.  The filters you selected before generating the roster will still be applied, so in the pop-up window to find a replacement Starting Pitcher, it will only show you players from the filters that you previously applied.  And when clicking the ‘Generate’ button again, you don’t need to re-select all the filters.

In my example above, I was finding the best possible team from the Dominican Republic, optimizing by Power for Hitters and by Meta Overall for both Starting and Relief Pitchers.  The automatically generated roster gave me no lefty starting pitchers and only one lefty relief pitcher in Gregory Soto.  Therefore, I need to go back and adjust my constraints to give me at least 2 Lefty Starting Pitchers and 3 Lefty Relief Pitchers:

Now my pitching got worse in overall rating, but I won’t be in an unfortunate position in a game where I need another lefty and don’t have one to use.

You can continue to adjust this either manually or by going back and tweaking filters, constraints, or objectives, until the roster meets your liking!

Final Example – Overall Limited, Live Series Only

Before concluding, I wanted to show one more example.  Let’s say hypothetically you’re in a custom league, where teams are limited to an 85 overall and you can only use Live Series players within your inventory.  Below is a walkthrough of how I would do that in Team Builder and adjust the team to my personal liking.

First, I would open up the Filters window and check-box to use only My Inventory, then select only Live Series cards:

Then, I would open up the Generate window and set my constraints for the league and the general settings that I like to use:

After generating the roster, below is what was created:

I would look at this personally and think – wow this team is pretty good for an 85 overall… however, I really don’t want to be rolling with so many bronze pitchers in a custom league.  So, to get around that, I’ll hop back into my Filters area and change that I’d like no cards below a 75 overall in my pool of players:

Then, I would re-generate the roster with the same constraints and objectives, resulting in:

Now this is a roster I’d be willing to roll with in a custom league.  And what’s amazing about Team Builder is you can continue to adjust your filters, constraints, and objectives to try and output the team you really want to rock with.  Even if it only gets close, at least it gives you a great foundation that you can adjust for the cards you like the most.

We hope you like using Team Builder and the deep-dive here on how we use it best, but are always open to feedback.  Feel free to connect with us on any of our social channels and we’d love to hear what you all have to say and any insights you might have on improvement or best practices!


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