That is kinda brilliant actually. I'm pretty decent at showdowns, being able to always grind stage 2 ones and having defeated all of MLB the show stubs 21 the inning ones, but I truly struggle with all the divisional ones. I absolutely hate how I shed my whole rush if I fuck up a miniboss that's absolutely harder than the final boss.
There are some pretty neat ideas here however SDS has been making improvements. 1st inning showdown was very challenging. I haven't actually even tried any of the branch ones because MTO is simple enough, fun for me, and will get pretty much all of stage 1 finish on veteran. 2nd inning was not too bad. IMO the 3rd inning and League showdowns are fairly simple so if you are trying hard to win try one of those.
To me NL is by far the one I have had the easiest experience with. I believe the problem stays on Veteran the whole time. It benefits from using two miniature bosses which have score 3 runs begin with man on 2nd. I usually am able to acquire at least 8/12 which means I always have a complete group of golds and in most 9 runs having to score.
I always draft players that are great versus rhp, just one starter and one reliever with high k/9. Following the draft consider the team for final showdown and visit TA to determine which future star you will confront and continue drafting players who kill that hand. Example draft vs rhp subsequently get Col. Rollison who is a lhp, today start to draft more men that do well vs lhp. The majority of the NL managers are fairly hittable.
The NL one is super easy, especially in contrast to this AL.. I spent the previous week grinding the NL showdown again and again and buy MLB The Show 21 Stubs only lost a few times. Yesterday I ended up NL phase 2 affinities and changed into the AL...fuck it is hard.