MLB HoF 2017 Odds – Will Raines Make Necessary Gains?

Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza are the newest members of MLB’s Hall of Fame. The duo will be enshrined in Cooperstown, N.Y., at a ceremony this summer. In his first year on the ballot, Griffey received an all-time record 99.3-percent of the vote, while Piazza earned 83-percent in his fourth year of eligibility.

Jeff Bagwell (71.6), Tim Raines (69.8), and Trevor Hoffman (67.3) all fell just short of the 75-percent required for induction. Each of the three legends is a favorite to be a member of the 2017 HoF class. For Raines, next year will be his last crack at Cooperstown.

Next year’s vote will be interesting because of the players who will be eligible for the first time. Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez, and Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez will make their initial appearance on the ballot. Each of the former sluggers has career numbers which are clearly Hall of Fame worthy. However, all have been linked to (or at least rumored to have taken, in Guerrero’s case) performance enhancing drugs.

It’s long been a mystery as to how the Baseball Writers’ Association of America would vote on players linked to PEDs, but now we’re starting to see significant data on the subject. This year, several PED-linked players saw their numbers climb, including Roger Clemens (37.5-percent to 45.2) and Barry Bonds (36.8-percent to 44.3). The gains were steady but not dramatic for the pair, who would have been shoo-in first-ballot selections if not for links to PEDs. As it stands, it’s questionable if they will ever receive baseball’s greatest honor.

The writers are clearly punishing alleged PED users severely but the 2016 vote reveals a possibility that players with iconic numbers can eventually overcome the bias against them … just probably not in 2017. Below are the current odds for all major candidates for the 2017 HoF class.

MLB Hall of Fame Odds

Odds of being inducted into the MLB HOF in 2017:

Jeff Bagwell: 1/4
Tim Raines: 1/2
Trevor Hoffman: 5/9
Vladimir Guerrero: 5/6
Curt Schilling: 5/1
Barry Bonds: 8/1
Roger Clemens: 8/1
Edgar Martinez: 18/1
Mike Mussina: 18/1
Jorge Posada: 25/1
Ivan Rodriguez: 35/1
Manny Ramirez: 50/1
Lee Smith: 50/1
Fred McGriff: 60/1
Gary Sheffield: 60/1
Billy Wagner: 75/1
Mark McGwire: 85/1
Larry Walker: 85/1
Jeff Kent: 100/1
Sammy Sosa: 100/1

(Photo credit: Googie man on en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)

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