Justin Verlander and Ryne Stanek Join Juiced Balls Conspiracy Theory Club
Easily the game's best pitcher for the last decade, it was difficult for baseball purists to go nearly two full years without watching Justin Verlander throw in MLB action. Verlander returned to the Houston Astros from Tommy John surgery this season, and the results have been lightning in a bottle.
Verlander recently spoke with ESPN's Jeff Passan about his current Cy Young campaign. In this conversation, the 39-year-old revealed he and fellow Astro Ryne Stanek have officially joined the "juiced" baseballs conspiracy theory club.
The two-time Cy Young award winner boasted that he's been on this train for years. He clarified that the MLB began this season with more normal baseballs, but a lack of offensive production around the league led to the reintroduction of "juiced" balls.
"Nobody believed me. I was a conspiracy theorist. They're working on it now. I actually like the ball that we started the season with, but I think they're already going back to the other one. I think you'll see home run rates start jumping up pretty quick -- substantially -- soon. I think they're sprinkling them in already ... "- Justin Verlander
Verlander alluded to this conspiracy in the Astros dugout, where Stanek gladly joined in on the fun. "It's happening already," Stanek chimed in after overhearing his teammate's comments.
The data certainly backs this up. The 30 MLB teams combined for 574 home runs in the month of April. Teams, on average, played about 22 games in the month so that's 26.09 home runs per day of games. Those numbers jumped to 904 total and 31.2 per day of games in May. The month of June has already seen 510 home runs in just 15 days of games, or 34 per.
Warm weather surely plays a factor, but considering Verlander and Stanek aren't alone in this wacky idea, they may be onto something. Philadelphia Phillies hitting coach Kevin Long spoke about the juiced balls a month ago.
The weather continues to heat up, and some in the league think the '"juiced" balls are back, so fans can expect a lot more flying into the seats down the stretch. Sit back and enjoy the fireworks.
Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.