What's up with Justin Upton's RBIs?
May, 1, 2013
By Eric Karabell | ESPN Insider
Atlanta Braves outfielder Justin Upton is off to an MVP start to 2013, finishing April atop the ESPN Player Rater and leading the majors in home runs with 12, while nobody else is in double digits. Of course, Upton's excellence hasn't exactly produced the commensurate RBI total one would expect, since he's not even in the top 10 in that category with 19. Upton has fewer RBIs than Yuniesky Betancourt! Upton is on pace for a ridiculous 75 home runs but only 118 RBIs. Obviously, that rate of home runs to RBIs would be unprecedented.
Knowing that fantasy owners can always find something to complain about, let's take a closer look at Upton's relatively modest RBI total, at least considering that he's slugging .734. It's not his fault that the top of the lineup has been terrible. Talk about missing Michael Bourn! Atlanta's leadoff hitters entered Tuesday with a .208 batting average and .289 OBP, which is bad enough, but check out the No. 2 hitters: They were hitting .126 with a .241 OBP! No wonder Upton hasn't been knocking in many runs!