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Production squared: Dynamic duos share RBI workload

What's better than having a big run producer in your lineup? How about two?

Production squared: Dynamic duos share RBI workload play video for Production squared: Dynamic duos share RBI workload

About the only feature more welcome on your lineup card than a guy who can mash the ball day in and day out and send teammates home with clutch hits on a consistent basis is, well, two of them.

A check of the top RBI duos in the Major Leagues this year naturally reveals some of the greatest hitters in the game today and, to no surprise either, two of the biggest reasons their teams are in the postseason hunt.

It could be a No. 2-3 combo like the Angels have under their halo, one you know will come at you in the first inning. Or it could be a third and fourth hitter like those monsters of Motown, perhaps with less speed but with a double shot of pop.

Here's a glance at the top RBI duos in the game so far this season:

Angels (160): Mike Trout 86, Albert Pujols 74

The Halos are one of the teams that get their RBIs from the Nos. 2 and 3 spots, utilizing Trout's speed among his impressive toolbox while still stacking up two of the most dangerous hitters in the game. They get the edge in a tie based on the higher top RBI guy.

A's (160): Josh Donaldson 84, Brandon Moss 76

These two members of Oakland's contingent of All-Stars just keep driving in the runs. This battle of RBI tandems is just one of many reasons why the American League West race figures to be a scramble to the end, with the division title vs. the one-and-done Wild Card Game hanging in the balance.

One side note: The A's traded Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox on July 31, and he and David Ortiz conceivably would combine for the No. 1 duo in the game with 169, but only 11 of Cespedes' 78 RBIs have come with Boston.

Tigers (159): Miguel Cabrera 86, Victor Martinez 73

These two are poster guys for RBI tandems, a reliable No. 3-4 combination in the middle of a stacked lineup. Cabrera continues to drive in runs, even with his other numbers down from his Triple Crown years, and Martinez is a steady an RBI threat as there is when he's healthy. Detroit boasts a couple other RBI guys, with Torii Hunter and Ian Kinsler right there at 64 apiece.

Orioles (158): Nelson Cruz 83, Adam Jones 75

Along with his 31 home runs that have him tied for the AL lead, Cruz is among the league leaders in RBIs, and Jones could approach last year's career-high total of 108. Imagine if Chris Davis (57 RBIs) hadn't gotten off to such a slow start this year.

Marlins (150): Giancarlo Stanton 88, Marcell Ozuna 62

The top National League duo comes from Miami, where one of the most exciting young players in the game has been joined by a guy whose last stop was in Japan. All Casey McGehee (60 RBIs) has done since his return to U.S. soil is drive home Marlins, using only three homers to do it. Ozuna has also contributed by driving 62 runs, so you can see some reasons why Miami is still at .500 and staying in the NL Wild Card race.

White Sox (147): Jose Abreu 89, Alexei Ramirez 58

What might get lost in his 31 homers, which are tied for the most in the AL, is that Abreu is proving to be a complete hitter, and his high RBI total reflects that. He has hitting streaks of 18 and 21 games, so he's more than just a bopper. Ramirez, meanwhile, is showing his All-Star chops by piling up numbers similar to his breakout rookie campaign in 2008.

Phillies (147): Ryan Howard 77, Marlon Byrd 70

With three-time NL RBI champ Howard working his way back to that level, he has a partner in a No. 4-5 combo with veteran Byrd. No. 3 hitter Chase Utley is back in business, too, at 66. Can't say their mashing is putting the Phils into contention, though.

Blue Jays (146): Jose Bautista 74, Edwin Encarnacion 72

This duo likely would be up toward the top of the list if Encarnacion hadn't been sidelined the past month with a quad strain -- both these guys are machines. Melky Cabrera is right in the same neighborhood with 67.

Mariners (145): Kyle Seager 77, Robinson Cano 68

There can be no denying that Cano has had the intended effect on Seattle as a whole, but Seager is just continuing a career progression as he heads toward the 100-RBI mark.

Braves (143): Justin Upton 75, Freddie Freeman 68

With a bit of surge this weekend vs. the A's, the Braves edged out the Dodgers as the No. 3 tandem in the NL, with both young sluggers catching a hot streak as the August stretch run begins.

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