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2016 MLB Hall of Fame Odds

Last year, we set the odds on which players would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015. Today, the balloting played out as expected.

Based on ballots made available early, it looked like Mike Piazza – whom we had at 3/1 to get in – would squeak into the Hall. But, in the end, only the four players we had at 1/1 or better got the nod: Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez, and Craig Biggio.

With 2015 in the books, it’s time to set the odds for next year.

The 2016 ballot is going to feature some notable first-timers, including two dominant closers (Trevor Hoffman and Billy Wagner), and one of the best defensive center fielders ever (Jim Edmonds).  The star newcomer to the list, though, will be Ken Griffey, Jr., who is a heavy favorite to be inducted in his first year of eligibility.

The 13-time All-Star tallied 630 home runs in his 22-year career (sixth-most all-time). Perhaps more importantly, though, there isn’t a whiff of steroids about Junior. In an age when sluggers like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa are being shunned by voters, Griffey’s sterling reputation counts for almost as much as his eye-popping stats.

After the Baseball Writers Association of America elected a staggering four players to the Hall in 2015 (that is only “staggering” by BBWA standards, of course), is anyone likely to join “The Kid” in Cooperstown next year?

See our full list of odds for the 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame nominees, below.

Odds to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016:

The Newcomers:

  • Ken Griffey, Jr.: 1/10
  • Trevor Hoffman: 3/2
    • His 601 career saves – second all-time – will get him in eventually, but it’s hard to crack the Hall on your first go. Ignore the fact that 2014 and 2015 both saw three players get in on their first try; only ten did so from 2001-2013. I see too many voters opting for ballot-veterans next year, knowing Hoffman will get in down the road. That said, Hoffman has the credentials and still has a very real chance to get in on his first try.
  • Billy Wagner: 25/1
    • Wagner may get in at some point; but with Hoffman – who had more career saves and greater longevity – on the ballot, I see most voters giving the nod to Hoffman first, and then Wagner once Hoffman is in. Stay patient, Billy.
  • Jim Edmonds: 50/1
    • His offensive numbers are good, but not really HOF worthy; his defense gives him a realistic chance of making it some day. But the case for Edmonds being a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer is pretty weak.

The Holdovers:

  • Mike Piazza: 3/4
    • 2015 voting percentage: 69.9%.
    • Piazza missed out by 5% this year. He is in a similar situation as Craig Biggio, who missed by 7% in 2013, 0.2% in 2014, and then finally got in with 82.7% this year. Biggio’s history indicates that Piazza could come agonizingly close next year, yet still miss out. That said, the fact that the first-ballot players are less strong in 2016 vs. 2015 bodes well for the former catcher.
  • Tim Raines: 6/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 55%
    • Raines picked up just 46% of the vote in 2014, but shot up to 55% in 2015.  This will be his ninth year on the ballot, and it could be the one that pushes him over the top. He needs to pick up 20% of the vote, though, which is huge.
  • Jeff Bagwell: 10/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 55.7%
    • Bagwell finished well ahead of Raines in 2014, getting 54.3% of the vote. However, he didn’t make strides last year, his fifth on the ballot, garnering just 55.7%. With the campaign for Raines seemingly growing, Bagwell’s chances take a hit. The BBWA, for reasons unknown, doesn’t like to elect too many people in any given year.
  • Curt Schilling: 40/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 39.2%
    • Schilling went from 29.2% in 2014 to almost 40% this year. He’s likely to make ground again in 2016, but it won’t be in the neighborhood of the 35% he needs.
  • Edgar Martinez: 50/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 27%
    • Martinez is a guy who might already be in the Hall if voters were allowed to tick more boxes each year. The Mariner great had tremendous stats, but there are always four or five guys who were better on every ballot. Next year will be no different.
  • Mike Mussina: 90/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 24.6%
    • Mussina only went up about 4% from 2014. He should make bigger gains in 2016 now that several dominant pitchers – Johnson, Smoltz, and Martinez – are no longer on the ballot. But he won’t see the three-fold increase he would need.
  • Barry Bonds: 100/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 36.8%
    • Bonds made very modest gains in his third year on the ballot, going from 34.7% in 2014 to just 36.8% in 2015. This is not unexpected. There’s no reason not to vote for Bonds other than PED issues, and nothing has changed on that front. Expect the same people to keep voting for/against Bonds in the near future. The same rationale applies to Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa.
  • Roger Clemens: 100/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 37.5%
  • Lee Smith: 125/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 30.2%
    • The campaign for Smith has stalled. He went up just 1% from last year.
  • Jeff Kent: 200/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 14%
  • Fred McGriff: 200/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 12.9%
  • Larry Walker: 200/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 11.8%
  • Mark McGwire: 250/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 10%
  • Gary Sheffield: 250/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 11.7%
  • Nomar Garciaparra: 500/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 5.5%
  • Sammy Sosa: 500/1
    • 2015 voting percentage: 6.6%

(Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)

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