Season 2 of Diamond Dynasty in MLB The Show 23 is officially off and running, and this most recent content drop offers players a bevy of options with the new Incognito and Kaiju series being introduced in their own Other Program, and also within the Season 2 track, which also has its own Boss choice pack. 

Team Affinity has made a return to MLB The Show Diamond Dynasty after a short absence in ‘22. With all these options now available to beef up your Ranked Seasons squad, let’s take a dive into the new Incognito choice packs (yes, those nicknames are how the cards are listed on the marketplace too) that Season 2’s Team Affinity program has to offer, with some recommendations about which to select. 

NL EAST

Let’s start out with the NL East, which looks to be far and away the strongest division when it comes to Season 2’s Team Affinity choices, if only for the Starting Pitchers it offers. Here is who is available:

“Birdman” (Jon Berti) – SS/ 2B, 3B, LF, CF, RF- Miami Marlins

“Rock” (Tim Raines) –LF/ 2B, CF, RF- Washington Nationals

“Silver Strider” (Spencer Strider) SP – Atlanta Braves

“Doc Halladay” (Roy Halladay) SP – Philadelphia Phillies

“deGrominator” (Jacob deGrom) -SP – New York Mets

“Birdman” (Jon Berti) – SS/ 2B, 3B, LF, CF, RF- Miami Marlins

Jon Berti cards have been fairly popular in Diamond Dynasty since he was put into the game, mostly in part due to his perfect speed stats, very strong Fielding attributes (a 95 Fielding this year) and ability to play almost anywhere you would need to fill a gap. His hitting stats leave much to be desired, however, with decent Contact vs R at 108 and vs L at 102, and a meager 55 Power vs R and 60 vs L. 

Should you take him? 

If you are in need of a higher contact speed demon that plays all over, Berti could ideally slot in towards the bottom of your lineup, but there are much stronger cards in this division to consider first.

“Rock” (Tim Raines) –LF/ 2B, CF, RF- Washington Nationals

This Raines card is rather interesting, sporting a perfect 125 Contact vs L, 101 Contact vs R, and 70 Power vs R with 62 Power vs L. This card also has near perfect speed, making him very similar to the Berti card in terms of his offensive makeup. His fielding takes a bit more of a dip at 86, but a nice Second Base secondary adds a little more viability to this card. With the maxed Contact vs L, I could see this card being played higher up in people’s lineups now that more meta-friendly Lefty starters are being added to the mix. The Contact vs R is a tad too low, compared to other options that have similar speed and better power, such as cards like Elly De La Cruz.

Should you take him? 

The Second Base secondary is nice, but like Jon Berti above, he is unfortunately overshadowed by the strong Starting Pitchers that are also in this pack. 

“Silver Strider” (Spencer Strider) SP – Atlanta Braves

The darling of many Braves fans during the 2022 season comes in with a decent SP card, and while he does have max velocity and break, the pitch mix does leave much to be desired. The card has Outlier on the Four Seamer and Break Outlier, but with only four pitches to select from, this card is liable to be figured out quite early in games. 

Should you take him? 

The mustachioed Strider raises the bar for this choice pack, but with a glaring lack of meta-friendly pitches at its disposal, this card would be my third pick from the pack.

“Doc Halladay” (Roy Halladay) SP – Philadelphia Phillies

As one of the more popular pitchers to use online during the early months of last year’s cycle, Doc even got his own program for a 95 overall card. This year, Doc is back with a new Incognito card of his own. Doc Hallday has always been a popular choice for early rotations, and this card does not deviate much from his last card. With 99 Break, and access to a sinker/splitter combo along with a cutter that can easily fool hitters, Halladay would be the obvious choice here, if it weren’t for one more starting pitcher that is even better. 

Should you take him? 

If you like starting with lower velocity guys and then bringing in some flamethrowers out of the pen to thwart your opponents, Doc could certainly be your guy. He comes in as my second pick from this pack, only to be beaten out by…

“deGrominator” (Jacob deGrom) -SP – New York Mets

Baseball’s unluckiest pitcher arrives earlier than what we have been accustomed to in recent years, but at 97 OVR, his card is actually lower in overall than his recent cards have been. Unlike most deGrom cards of recent vintage, this Incognito card does not have maxed velocity and break, but still has the great pitch mix and Outlier 1 we have all grown to know and love (unless you are facing him).

Should you take him?

While it’s hard to pass up a viable deGrom card this early in the game’s cycle, this is certainly not the caliber of deGrom card we have become accustomed to in recent years. But with Outlier 1 still intact, deGrom still promises to give players online headaches earlier than expected this year. 

So, in which order should you take these cards?

1.“deGrominator” (Jacob deGrom) -SP – New York Mets

2.“Doc Halladay” (Roy Halladay) SP – Philadelphia Phillies

3.“Silver Strider” (Spencer Strider) SP – Atlanta Braves

4.“Rock” (Tim Raines) –LF/ 2B, CF, RF- Washington Nationals

5.“Birdman” (Jon Berti) – SS/ 2B, 3B, LF, CF, RF- Miami Marlins

AL East

Now that we’ve taken a look at the NL East options, let’s see what the AL East has to offer.

Here’s who we got:

“Youk” (Kevin Youkilis) -1B/3B,RF,LF,DH – Boston Red Sox

“Baby Giraffe” (Tyler Glasnow) SP – Tampa Bay Rays

“La Makina” (José Berríos) SP – Toronto Blue Jays

“Steady Eddie” (Eddie Murray) -1B/DH– Baltimore Orioles

“Nasty Nestor” (Nestor Cortes Jr.) SP – New York Yankees

“Youk” (Kevin Youkilis) -1B/3B,RF,LF,DH – Boston Red Sox

One of Boston’s beloved heroes comes in with a fairly balanced card at 105 Contact vs R, 93 Contact vs L, 84 Power vs R and 96 Power vs L. This card plays all the corners and offers a solid 96 Fielding stat, but the lack of power at a powerful position really hinders Youk.

Should you take him? 

This card will probably fly under the radar for most players other than Boston fans, as there are numerous other options at the corners with more power. Despite having one of the more unique batting stances in baseball, the Youk card would have to be my last pick from this choice pack. 

“Baby Giraffe” (Tyler Glasnow) SP – Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays never seem to have a lack of pitching depth and dominance, and Glasnow is no exception. This Team Affinity card, however, does leave a bit to be desired due to its basic and small pitch mix, and lack of active quirks.

Should you take him? 

With only one fastball at its disposal, no active quirks and limited pitch mix, there are certainly other Starting Pitchers more worthy of your choice in this pack.

“La Makina” (José Berríos) SP – Toronto Blue Jays

This Berrios card offers a little more intrigue than the Glasnow card, but unfortunately suffers from similar issues. While the pitch mix is small, there are a few meta-friendly pitches here with the sinker and circle-change, not to mention a primary slurve, which is quite uncommon in MLB The Show. 

Should you take him? 

The Slurve primary is intriguing, but Berrios also suffers from the same problem as Glasnow- very few active quirks. I’m probably taking him third in this pack.

“Steady Eddie” (Eddie Murray) -1B/DH– Baltimore Orioles

Eddie Murray is back in MLB The Show, and this year’s offering appears to be a bit weaker than most other Murray iterations we have seen in recent years. He comes in at 93 Contact vs R, 125 vs L, 90 Power vs R and 92 vs L. This is another more balanced card, with the added bonus of max contact vs L. No secondary positions hinder it a bit, but the real strengths of this card lie in its switch hitting stance, which is always a hot commodity in Diamond Dynasty, as well as the vast amount of active quirks, including Dead Red which makes this card even more powerful against fastballs.

Should you take him? 

I love switch hitters in Diamond Dynasty, so this Murray card gets a slight boost thanks to that. The many active quirks are also great, so I could see this card being a useful addition to your lineup if you like the elusive switch hitting players.

“Nasty Nestor” (Nestor Cortes Jr.) SP – New York Yankees

MLB The Show 23 Nestor Cortes

Nestor is indeed nasty, and one of his greatest strengths lie in the slider/cutter combo he possesses. While his timing antics may not translate to MLB The Show, Nestor can still prove to be a formidable force if one uses deception and mixes speeds well. This is another SP card that can be very effective if you follow him up with some right-handed flamethrowers out of the back end of the bullpen.

Should you take him? 

Deceptive and slow tossing Lefty starters have proven to be quite successful in past years of Diamond Dynasty, (everyone’s favorite Valenzuela comes to mind) and Nasty Nestor looks to be yet another addition to that category. He would be my first pick from the AL East for Season 2. 

So, in which order should you take these cards?

1. “Nasty Nestor” (Nestor Cortes Jr.) SP – New York Yankees

2. “Steady Eddie” (Eddie Murray) -1B/DH– Baltimore Orioles

3. “La Makina” (José Berríos) SP – Toronto Blue Jays

4. “Baby Giraffe” (Tyler Glasnow) SP – Tampa Bay Rays

5. “Youk” (Kevin Youkilis) -1B/3B,RF,LF,DH – Boston Red Sox

That wraps up our coverage of who to choose for the East divisions for this Season’s Team Affinity. Be sure to check back at https://strangelyawesomegames.com/ for more MLB The Show content, including who to choose from the other MLB divisions. 

MLB The Show 23 is available now on PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox Game Pass.

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