The Hidden Effects of Jet Lag on Baseball Players

Northwestern University researchers found that jet-lagged pitchers give up more homers and that the effects of long flights can wipe out home-field advantage

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw reacts after giving up a solo home run to Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo in the MLB National League Championship Series. PHOTO: TANNEN MAURY/EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

By Jared Diamond
Updated Jan. 24, 2017

When Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw allowed five runs in Game 6 of the NLCS, his disappointing outing was largely attributed to some combination of the Chicago Cubs’ powerful lineup and the general unpredictability of baseball. Researchers at Northwestern University have another theory: He might have been jet lagged.

According to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, teams traveling eastward at least two time zones give up more home runs than they otherwise would, offering insights into how the internal body clock affects performance.

Read the full article here.

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