The Philadelphia Phillies entered the season with one of the most high-powered offenses in the league, at least on paper. The combination of Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber and others was supposed to instill fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers.
But that wasn't how the season started. According to data compiled by Jayson Stark, the Phillies led the NL in hard-hit percentage and exit velocity, but racked up the second-most games with one or fewer runs scored.
All until Philadelphia's recent West Coast trip against the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Phillies' bats exploded, and hitting coach Kevin Long hinted at an insane conspiracy theory to explain the situation.
Long discussed the overall inconsistency he's seen with the physical baseballs used in games. Another change in MLB's "un-juiced" baseballs had been a point of contention this year, considering offense is widely down across the league.
But, maybe not on the West Coast...
Keep in mind, the Phillies bats were unstoppable during their seven-game road trip out west. Philadelphia scored the most runs in baseball (50), clobbered the most home runs (14), and hit the most extra-base hits (31) during this stretch.
The road trip also concluded with a 3-0 shutout at the hands of the San Diego Padres upon their return to Philadelphia. Interesting, to say the least.
Key members of the offense simply chalked this up to the mysteriousness and quirkiness that is baseball. “I think that’s just baseball,” Rhys Hoskins said.
But, the data proves Long may have a point. Of the top six ballparks surrendering the most home runs in 2022, three of these parks are on the West Coast.
In terms of total home run count, five of the top-15 teams play their home games in the Pacific time zone, including the Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Giants, Dodgers, Colorado Rockies and Mariners.
Although this conspiracy theory is a bit wacky, it may be worth paying attention to.
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.