SCIENCE FILE / An exploration of issues and trends affecting science, medicine and the environment. : Jet Lag Seems to Give Advantage to East Coast Teams

From Times staff and wire reports

From the point of view of jet lag, the Atlanta Braves would have been better off playing the Seattle Mariners than the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

Examining the records of baseball teams between 1991 and 1993, two University of Massachusetts Medical Center doctors found that East Coast teams won more often and scored 1.24 more runs against visiting West Coast teams that had just flown across the country.

In general, home teams won 54.1% of their games, report Dr. William Schwartz, a specialist on the biological clock, and Dr. Lawrence Recht, a neurologist, in this week's issue of the journal Nature. When the visiting team traveled East to West, the home team won 56.2% of the games. But when the visiting team traveled West to East, the home team winning percentage rose to 62.9%.

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