The 4th Inning Program in MLB The Show 21 has arrived, and our MLB The Show tips series is back to help you decide which boss player to take. You have a little time to decide, since you need 350,000 XP to earn a boss player. But what’s the fun in waiting?
July marks the first month in MLB The Show 21 that every boss player is a 99 Overall player. As always, there are three players to choose from. Each offers benefits for your team and toward other programs in the game, especially Team Affinity.
Here are the three bosses in the 4th Inning Program, in no particular order:
Christy Mathewson, Starting Pitcher, San Francisco Giants
This card is from Mathewson’s Age 27 Triple Crown season in 1908. Mathewson features an impressive Stamina attribute, with that clocking in at 124. This will allow him to go deep into games as your starter, protecting your bullpen.
In addition, his control is extremely good, with a Walks per 9 Innings attribute of 107 and a Control attribute of 96. He won’t get hurt by the long ball a lot or give up a lot of solid contact either, with strong ratings in those areas as well.
Mathewson doesn’t bring a ton of velocity to the mound – at least not overpowering velocity, anyway. His fastball tops out at 95, which won’t overpower too many players online. You’ll need to rely on the nice variety of pitches Mathewson has in his arsenal. He has a lot of pitch speed variety, with his primary pitch being a 77 MPH screwball to offset the fastball, as well as a changeup and over-the-top curveball. Finally, he features a nice sinker that has very similar velocity to the fastball, making it more deceptive.
Eddie Murray, First Baseman, Baltimore Orioles
The Eddie Murray card features his Gold Glove, Age 26 season in 1982. Murray brings a great balance to the table, with exceptional Contact attributes against both right and left-handed pitching. He also brings very strong Power attributes versus both. All four of his contact and power ratings are over 100, making him a dominant hitter in MLB The Show 21.
Murray also brings great defense to your Diamond Dynasty team. This is no surprise, since this is his Gold Glove card. A 92 Fielding attribute and 86 Reaction attribute make him a strong fielder at first base. He has very high Arm Strength and Accuracy ratings as well.
Though he is a Diamond hitter and fielder, Murray’s weakness is that he won’t steal a lot of bases for you. His 50 Speed rating makes him far from a baserunning weapon, and a 26 Steal rating keeps him from being a true threat to steal bases. Depending on your play style, this may impact how much you want to use him. That said, not many first basemen have exceptional baserunning attributes to begin with, so it’s an acceptable rating if you like hitting with Murray.
Wander Franco, Shortstop, Tampa Bay Rays
Wander Franco’s Future Stars card from his Age 20 season gives you a dominant option at the shortstop position. If you already have Franco’s card from launch week, there are notable differences here, particularly in Contact, Power, and Speed attributes.
The 99 OV Franco has a dominant 117 Contact attribute versus right-handed pitching and 105 versus lefties. His Power attribute is strong as well, with 94 against righties and 84 against lefties. Franco’s 84 Speed attribute will give you an impact baserunner who has a chance to swipe bases for you and turn doubles into triples.
Wander Franco’s hitting attributes are impressive, but they are all a bit lower than Murray in both Contact and Power. Franco is a strong fielder, though, and will give you a great defensive presence at shortstop.
MLB The Show Tips: Who Should You Take?
Once you arrive at 350,000 XP in the 4th Inning Program, you will have your choice of these three players. They all offer a benefit to your Diamond Dynasty team, but which 99 Overall player should you take?
The most limited of these players, by far, is Eddie Murray. Yes, it’s true that he has the best hitting attributes available in the 4th Inning bosses. He is also very limited by his speed, and more importantly, the fact that he can only play first base. If Murray had a secondary position, he would be much more valuable and warrant a look as your first choice.
Additionally, there are so many strong first baseman in MLB The Show 21 already. If you’re lucky enough to have completed the American League Live Series collection already, then you already have a 99 Overall David Ortiz. Otherwise, Don Mattingly was just available in a recent Innings Program. Murray is the right choice only if you already are completely happy with your starting rotation and starting shortstop.
Mathewson is a fine addition to any team’s starting staff. If you rely on power pitchers, as many in online play do, he might not be the right option for you. If you can master his arsenal and mix up pitches to get opposing players off balance, he would be a great addition.
Wander Franco is probably the most balanced player of the three and will be the easiest to fit into any lineup. This is primarily true because he has secondary positions of both second base and third base. Even if you already have a great shortstop, he is a wonderful option at second base if you haven’t already completed the “42” collection to earn the 99 Overall Jackie Robinson. He will also easily be one of the best third basemen available right now.
MLB The Show Tips: Team Affinity Impact
If you’re grinding team affinity like we are, it’s important to note that two of the three players represent the American League East – arguably the most overrepresented division in MLB The Show 21 to this point. At least when it comes to impact Diamond Dynasty players, anyway. That alone might make a strong case for Christy Mathewson, since he will earn you progress towards the National League West.
A side note to Sony San Diego: We get the American League East is amazing, and there are a lot of great players from that division in the history of the game. But, try to spread it out a little more please. It’d be great to field my best team and not be making huge progress towards only one Team Affinity program.
Which boss will you be taking? Let us know in the comments!
You can purchase MLB The Show 21 for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One here.