MLB The Show 17 has been out for a little while now, and with so many features packed into the title – including a new story framework for Road to the Show – there's a lot to chew on. In this week's Sports Desk I've gathered some helpful tips from my colleagues Brian Shea and Reiner for Road to the Show and Diamond Dynasty, respectively, to help you excel in these modes.

Road to the Show

1. Build Your Character for How You Want to Play

When you first start Road to the Show, after you customize your character's appearance, you choose where to allocate starter points. I made the decision to make my character well-rounded, but after playing several months, I've found that I've leaned toward power and speed. That's not to say that I've neglected fielding and contact, but when I'm at the plate, I like going for extra-base hits and then stealing bases once I'm on. Don't try to be a jack-of-all-trades right out of the gate; if you want to play small ball, spec to that. If you want to be a fielding wizard, you know what to do.

2. Don't Be Afraid to Tell Your Coach "No"

The big addition to Road to the Show this year is the new "Pave Your Path" system. Within this system, you are presented with dialogue options based on scenarios that often involve your coaches or manager. I originally went along with everything the coach said in the name of being a good teammate, but if you don't want to leave your post at shortstop to man the outfield, push back. The coach may overrule your objection or even bench you, but at least you tried. Any changes aren't likely to be permanent, but at least make your voice heard.

3. Take Advantage of 2X days

Throughout the calendar, you stumble upon special events where everything you do in the game on that day awards double the amount of training points. These don't happen that frequently, so I definitely take advantage of them as best you can. This means that while you can certainly go for the long-ball with a power swing, maybe be even more careful than usual and balance the use of your standard and even contact swings. Also, it is probably worth it to adjust your settings if you normally have it set to not present you with all base running and fielding opportunities. Training points are the best currency in Road to the Show, and these new double point multipliers can be goldmines.  

4. Use Your Showtime on the Basepaths

Showtime allows you to slow down time in a small number of instances per game. You can use this in the field and at the plate, but I actually get the most use out of it on the base paths. By using it just before the pitcher enters his motion, you can time your jump just right. Just hold down the R2 button, focus on his legs, and take off as soon as he commits to going to the plate. For me, that's much more helpful than slowing down one pitch per game, and you can use it many more times per game that way.

5. Don't Stress Too Much About Your Choices

Regardless of how you act in the Pave Your Path decision points, you won't destroy your career. Be the character you want to be. If you want to be a team player and always agree with the coach, that's fine. If you want to demand a trade through your agent, that's also a totally viable option. At this point in Pave Your Path's implementation (even the developers have stated that this mechanic is in its infancy this year), nothing you do will likely haunt you throughout your career. Sure, you may get benched or traded, but it's not going to haunt you as you move from team to team and from role to role.

Diamond Dynasty

1. Easy Stubs Out of the Gate

Earning Stubs through traditional play avenues takes time, but you can earn hundreds of Stubs by completing the beginner Franchise Missions. From the outset of Franchise mode, you'll need to set all of the responsibilities to "manual," which will allow you to micromanage the mission objectives. These tasks range from negotiating with free agents to equipping sponsorships. You should be able to complete most of the Franchise Missions in 20 minutes or less. The Stubs earned can net you a decent player to start your Diamond Dynasty career.

2. Start With Conquest Mode

You may want to jump right into competitive play, but Conquest mode is a great way to get your bearings with the game and earn Stubs and players along the way. Stick to the lower difficulty levels to make progress in Conquest mode, and then ramp up as your team (and your skills) progress. The games only last three innings, and you should be able to assemble a descent team after spending a few days in Conquest.

3. Luck of the Pull and What to Do Next

Getting a player like Ken Griffey, Jr. or Mike Trout will undoubtedly make your team better, but their true value may be on the market, especially if you are just starting your career. Diamond cards can net you significant currency that can be used to buy packs of cards or even other significant players. Don't be afraid to part with them. Check the market value and demand before parting with them, however.

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Have a suggestion or comment? Put it in the comments section below, send me an email, or reach me on twitter at @mattkato.

THE TICKER
A quick rundown of some of the sports news from the week.

FIFA 17 Coming To The EA Access Vault 

Saber Interactive Announces 2-on-2 NBA Playgrounds