May 13, 2023 by Cory Dell
MLB The Show 23 launched Season 2 in Diamond Dynasty today in grand fashion. With one of the biggest content drops in franchise history, Season 2 has dropped a ton of big names and juicy cards into DD that still has my head spinning. After thinking the launch content for MLB The Show 23 was top of the class, Season 2 has upped the content game yet again.
Let’s try to unpack all the content before looking at the new Boss cards and how they shape up against the meta.
To kickoff, players are being treated to a “head start” in Season 2 thanks to the Season 1 Recap. This checklist rewards players for having invested time into the game during Season 1 and this is a very pleasant surprise. In a way, it’s akin to the vouchers we used to get in prior games that gave us a boost in each new program. Players can earn the following rewards by completing the requisite goals:
Season 2 also comes with a new Event featuring new rules and rewards. Qualifying teams must adhere to the following rules:
The milestone card rewards are:
Another fresh batch of Team Affinity goodness was also a part of the massive content haul. The “Henchmen” pack for each division is full of Future Stars cards with each team getting their own Future Star. We get another round of Captains that counter the Captains in Season 1’s Affinity program. For example, if a team had a pitcher as the Captain in Season 1 of Team Affinity, Season 2 will feature a hitter and vice versa. This is going to be a great addition to theme teams as an additional level of boosts can be applied. At this point it’s pretty clear that the Live Series Captains weren’t really that enticing given the limited use with Live Series cards. Having pitcher and hitter Captains from Team Affinity that boosts ALL team cards is much more palatable.
The big score for Team Affinity Season 2 is the Incognito series cards featured as the main rewards for each division. We got a surprise new legend with this batch of content in Tim “Rock!” Raines that joins the fray as a switch-hitting contact hitter with nearly maxed Speed.
Along with Raines and many other solid cards, we also get the first beefy Jacob DeGrom of the year with his Incognito series card.
This DeGrom features the much desired Outlier on the fastball but has a comparatively weak slate of attributes. The 96 H/9 will not excite anyone, but keep in mind that not all cards this year are intended to be “God Squad” ready with the advent of Captains. Still, a card like this with Outlier and a disgusting Slider can take you a long way in online play.
As an aside, remember that Team Affinity programs do not expire. That means you’ll earn progress in both Season 1 and Season 2 Team Affinity programs. With the wording in the menu, all cards eligible in each respective Season will net you progress in Team Affinity. That means you can use S1 and S2 cards currently to complete both and in the future. However, once Season 3 drops, you’ll only be able to use Season 2, Season 3 and Core cards and so on for the rest of the year.
Along with the big boy Bosses, Season 2 brings a group of Incognito and Kaiju Henchmen. Players will have the chance to earn 4 Incognito Choice packs and 4 Kaiju Choice Packs along the program grind.
Similar to the first Season, we get another round of 5 Boss cards to choose from in Season 2. Maxing out Season 2’s XP Reward Path will net you 3 of the 5 Bosses and there’s some heavy duty cards to choose from here.
The Bringer of Rain brings another heavyweight contender to the 3B position. We’ve seen several elite cards at the hot corner already and Donaldson is certainly a worthy competitor. With balanced Contact against both sides, 107 Pow R and max Pow L with max 125 Clutch, Donaldson is an offensive force with one of the better swings in the game. This Donaldson doesn’t have the strongest Fielding that we’ve seen from him with a serviceable 83, but a fairly strong Arm at 88 should help him make some tough plays with a strong throw. Donaldson’s Meta Overall rating of 103.05 at 3B makes him the 6th best 3B in the game. He does carry SS and 1B eligibility which might help you find a spot for him if you absolutely need to start him.
The Professor makes his 99 overall debut with his own Incognito card. We’re getting a pretty typical Maddux here with virtually no Velocity but obscene Control on all pitches with a superb pitch mix. Maddux carries a primary Sinker that runs at 90 MPH but features 99 Control and 99 Break. If that’s not enough, Maddux’s Circle-Change also has 99 Control and 99 Break and drops in at a cool 77 MPH. The ever popular Cutter is actually a bit harder than the Sinker at 91 MPH with 97 Control and 93 Break which can be played off the Slider that sits at 84 MPH and features 93 Control and 95 Break. This Maddux also features a Curveball that comes in at a stunningly slow 70 MPH but still has 91 Control, although it also features the least amount of Break of any of his pitches at 82. This is a great pitch mix with unique speeds that creates so many tunneling opportunities on the mound. You can truly attack hitters however you want with this card and pretty much dot every pitch. The issue? That lack of velocity makes Maddux almost unusable on anything below Hall of Fame. Since All-Star features huge PCI’s, the chances of you being overly successful with any Greg Maddux card are much slimmer than the advanced levels of Ranked. That doesn’t mean you can’t give this card a try but All-Star is not the playground for The Professor.
Despite the lack of true Velocity, Incognito Greg Maddux debuts as the 5th best SP with a Meta Overall rating of 100.71.
The Sandman cometh and The Sandman closeth. Suffering succotash? Anyway, Mariano Rivera also features the prototypical pitch mix with the hard Cutter with maxed out Control and Break. Mo also features a 4-Seamer that runs up to 97+ MPH, a Sinker that hits 94 MPH and rounds out with a Slider and Changeup. Rivera is known for his devastating Cutter that was essentially the only pitch he threw but any experienced Show veteran knows you can’t use that approach in the game. I’ve had the most success with Rivera working Sinker/Slider and using the Cutter in random spots. The Changeup’s 82 Control makes it hard to locate, but the speed differential with it’s 83 MPH can create some funky swings. I had great success with Rivera the first two years he was in the game and didn’t use him much last year. A lot of content I watched seemed to feature him getting hit pretty hard, so your results may vary with this card. Still, with 118 H/9, 110 K/9, 118 BB/9 and 125 Clutch – Rivera’s attributes are disgustingly good. However, Incognito Mariano Rivera’s Meta Overall rating of 96.59 has him slotted in as the 5th best overall bullpen arm at the moment. That’s a bit lower than I would have expected and he’s actually slightly worse than the free Shohei Ohtani from the WBC program. I don’t think that means you should avoid using this card, I think it simply means another year of the best Closer of all time not translating to MLB The Show.
A Kaiju Boss with a fun attribute set, this Grady Sizemore is the strongest we’ve seen him. Max Contact against RHP with 102 Power will certainly play and he holds up against LHP with 92 Contact and 105 Power. An even 100 Clutch rating makes Sizemore a solid run producer on the offensive side. Defensively, Sizemore is a Diamond fielder in CF and will carry a Diamond shield anywhere in the outfield once he hits Parallel 2. His 78 Arm strength isn’t the best but the 84 Speed and 91 Reaction means he should close out most gap shots and at least prevent extra bases more often than not. In a meta dominate by strong Outfielders, this Sizemore card is solid but not spectacular. Amongst all Outfielders, Sizemore’s Meta Overall rating of 102.03 ranks him as the 14th best OF. If you’re a Cleveland fan and want some claim to fame, he’s the 5th best overall pure CF in the game right now.
Rounding out the Season 2 Bosses is Chase Utley. Utley has a very good offensive profile for a 2B with 102 Con L, 115 Con R, 104 Pow L and 100 Pow R. The Clutch rating of 97 is a bit underwhelming but Utley has a really good swing that helped him quickly become one of my favorite new legends last year. Utley carries 74 Speed so he can get around the bases fairly well though he won’t be a real stealing threat. Utley possesses 99 Fielding out of the box with 86 Arm strength and 90 Accuracy, meaning he should come with an easier meter on tough plays. The 98 reaction seals Utley as one of the standout defenders at 2B. With the pitching meta still dominated by RHP and Utley’s balanced offensive profile, he carries a 105.41 Meta Overall rating which ranks him as the absolute best 2B in the game right now. In fact, the top 3 of the Meta Overall rankings at 2B feature 3 of the newest cards launched with Season 2. It’s fitting that Utley is a Program Boss as he reigns supreme above the rest.
This is a bit of a tough pack for me to choose from. I’m a fan of each of these players for different reasons and their respective cards have differing fits on my current team. I feel like the more SP the merrier, but Maddux just seems destined to get shelled on All-Star. I’ve been so busy I haven’t even been able to grind Ranked as much as I want so I still have a lot of All-Star games before I get to Hall of Fame where he should shine. I’m comfortable with my bullpen arms but Rivera seems like a no-brainer based purely off pitch mix and attributes. That lowish Meta Overall rating feels like an omen but again – Rivera probably excels on Hall of Fame difficulty and above. Chase Utley is the best 2B in the game and was one of my favorite cards last year, but I currently have WBC Trea Turner and WBC Francisco Lindor as my middle infielders. I value Lindor’s defense and switch-hitting but obviously Turner’s an exceptional card as well. Josh Donaldson’s swing and offensive attributes make him at least a DH candidate, but I find myself interested in Lightning Matt Chapman at 3B with Chipper Jones moving to the DH slot for me. Then again, I could use the same setup with Donaldson and Chipper and be ok with it. Grady Sizemore doesn’t excite me and I have plenty of OF to choose from. I suspect he’ll be the least chosen card in the pack.
That’s my most likely order of choices. Utley is too good to pass up no matter who else I have. Rivera at the very least should be able to dominate lesser-skilled hitters even if he doesn’t play up to his attributes against good hitters. Finally, Greg Maddux is an Atlanta Braves icon and will go directly onto my Braves theme team. He’ll be a great backpocket option in the rotation once I get to Hall of Fame as well.
There’s your breakdown for the main components of Season 2 of Diamond Dynasty’s launch content. Which Bosses will you be taking and why?
Cory is a freelance writer that currently features for Operation Sports and ShowZone and has dabbled in streaming from time to time. Cory has been a diehard Atlanta Braves fan since birth and has tortured neighbors and family alike with avid guitar playing for the last twenty years.
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