MLB Betting Prediction on Chase Utley Going to Hall of Fame

Posted by Daniel Strum on Tuesday,August 25, 2015 10:26, EDT in

For 13 long seasons, Chase Utley was one of the faces of the Philadelphia Phillies’ proud franchise and their MLB betting fans. He had long been the leader who set the tone in the clubhouse, particularly after such players as Ryan Howard had already faded into the sunset and other players had left town as the team that won the 2008 World Series gradually aged and fell apart.

Utley remained a force in Philadelphia, though. He was a starter for the sixth most wins in team history. It’s true that his lifetime stats weren’t that great, as he only hit 233 home runs among 1,623 hits so far, and his lifetime average is just .282. This means that he is in the same category of greatness as, say, David Eckstein, a tough player who didn’t have the numbers for the crunchers to justify his place in the Hall of Fame.

Taking a Closer Look at the MLB Betting Prediction on Chase Utley Going to Hall of Fame

There are some players, though, whom the numbers praise. And if you look at some of the more advanced numbers associated with Utley’s career, even if he doesn’t accomplish a whole lot with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Utley deserves to go into the Hall of Fame after he retires.

Consider the JAWS (Jaffe Advanced WAR Score). WAR stands for “Wins Above Replacement” and measures the number of wins a player contributes to his team above the replacement value. In other words, Utley’s WAR score tells you how many wins he contributes per season to his team in comparison to the average major league second baseman. The JAWS score balances the number of wins above replacement a player contributed at the top of his career with the WAR that he contributed during his whole career, blending them into one number. The purpose of JAWS is to provide a comparison for each player with the average of current members of the Hall of Fame at that same position, so that voters for the Hall of Fame have a standard by which to measure future candidates.

On the basis of Utley’s best seasons, which puts him eighth of all of the second basemen in MLB history, Utley is just a couple of WAR short of the standard. JAWS puts Utley’s career at about the same level as Jackie Robinson’s – and ahead of Craig Biggio and Roberto Alomar, both of whom are already in the Hall.

If this surprises you, based on what you know about Utley, this is because there is a fairly big gap between JAWS and the traditional baseball statistics, particularly in Utley’s case. Utley has the third biggest difference between his actual JAWS and what you would predict just by looking at the usual numbers (batting average, home runs, hits, and so on). Why such a big differential?

He is just a terrific player in all aspects of the game, including discipline at the plate, defense, base running, contact hitting and power hitting. Among the second basemen who played during his era, he has been the very best on defense and the second best on offense. He did have some vulnerability to injury in his early 30s, but other than that, his game had no discernible flaws.

This doesn’t mean that the voters are likely to usher him into the Hall. But it does mean that his numbers deserve a second look – and a third. If the advanced sabermetricians get hold of the ballots, they should consider writing Utley’s name in.