With the additions of online franchise and quicker games, MLB 14: The Show is making it more appealing than ever to jump into its deep franchise mode. However, for some, the question then becomes: Which team should I pick?
For most, the answer is simple: their favorite team. But what if you are want a more specific challenge than getting the home nine to the World Series?
Biggest Challenge: Houston Astros
If you want a team with almost no hope of seeing the post-season, Houston is the place to go. The Astros have lost 100+ games three years in a row, but have some young talent which could be developed into a consistent and talented core.
Best Team to Blow Up: Philadelphia Phillies
Outside of third base, left field, and center field, the Phillies are old...not necessarily bad, but definitely old. And, due to some big trades over the past few years, their farm system isn't great either. In real life, management seems reluctant to rebuild; in The Show, it may be possible to unload the aging stars for a new youth movement.
Don't Underachieve: Los Angeles Angels
With players like Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Jared Weaver, it shouldn't be hard to improve on last years 78-84 record. Of course, in taking over this team, there are some large contracts to deal with...including any potential extensions with the young superstar Trout.
Don't Underachieve, part 2: Washington Nationals
Like the Angels, the Nats look great on paper (better, actually). But their struggles against the Braves (6-13) and teams with winning records (24-41) led to a fairly pedestrian 86 win season in 2013. This is a great franchise to mold into a perennial contender, assuming you can do what is expected.
The Rays are a good young team with some nice pitching depth and a solid offensive core. But much of their success is due to both the shrewd financial wrangling of GM Andrew Friedman, and the clever game-management of Joe Maddon. In choosing to "franchise" with the Rays, you will have to use the same intelligence to duplicate their winning ways. Not easy with a tiny budget in the AL East.
Who Needs Luck?: Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates had an incredible year, reaching the post-season for the first time since the early 90s. But, statistically speaking, the team got a little lucky. Based on their runs scored/allowed, they should have finish third in their division, behind both the Cardinals and the Reds. Still, games aren't played using statistics...and players choosing the Pirates will have the opportunity to show that 2013 wasn't about luck.
So, if you aren't interested in a particular team in MLB 14: The Show, the above should get you started.
What team do you plan on using in The Show's franchise mode, and why?