LA Angels: Justin Upton faring much better vs. left-handed pitching
By Evan Desai
Justin Upton has been coming around at the plate since he began batting leadoff for the LA Angels.
In his first four games at the leadoff spot, Justin Upton went 6 for 18 with two home runs and four RBI for the LA Angels. Coming into that first game at leadoff, Upton was hitting .188/.271/.391.
In those first four games at the leadoff spot, he got on 31.6 percent of the time, and slugged .722. He went on a tear, but it’s not just hitting leadoff where Upton fares better at the plate.
He’s much better against left-handed pitching than he is facing righties.
He’s hitting .233/.327/.535 vs. lefties, as opposed to his .194/.254/.388 against righties.
Sure, neither are great, but he’s clearly much better against lefties, and due to him now looking like himself again for the first time since 2018, he’s in line to really take advantage of left-handed pitchers whenever they throw his way.
As of before Friday night’s game vs. Oakland, Upton had 4 home runs vs. left-handed pitching compared to six home runs vs. right-handed pitching. That’s a much better mark vs. left-handed pitching when considering that he has 65 less plate appearances vs. lefties, and 60 less at-bats.
Despite having far less chances vs. left-handed pitching, Upton has also driven in only five less runs (eight) than he has vs. right-handed pitchers.
In a lineup that’s underperformed this year, and a lineup that’s missing their franchise player, it’s good to see Upton coming around.
Hopefully he can keep it up, and Joe Maddon can find him some opportunities to face left-handed pitching as much as possible.
If Upton can stay hot, while getting a lot of at-bats vs. left-handed pitching, he’s going to find a lot of success.