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In baseball statistics, walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) is a sabermetric measurement of the number of baserunners a pitcher has allowed per inning pitched. WHIP reflects a pitcher's propensity for allowing batters to reach base, therefore a lower WHIP indicates better performance. WHIP is calculated by adding the number of walks and hits allowed and dividing this sum by the number of innings pitched. 

Below is the list of the top 100 Major League Baseball pitchers in Walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) with at least 1,000 innings pitched. abermetric measurement of the number of baserunners a pitcher has allowed per inning pitched. WHIP is calculated by adding the number of walks and hits allowed and dividing this sum by the number of innings pitched. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

WHIP reflects a pitcher's propensity for allowing batters to reach base, therefore a lower WHIP indicates better performance. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

While earned run average (ERA) measures the runs a pitcher gives up, WHIP more directly measures a pitcher's effectiveness against batters. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

The lowest single-season WHIP in MLB history through 2018 is 0.7373 from Pedro Martínez pitching for the Boston Red Sox in 2000, which broke the previous record of 0.7692 of Guy Hecker of the Louisville Eclipse in 1882. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

Analytics and sabermetrics run the show of Major League Baseball organizations in the present day. With the rise of popular platforms like Fantasy Baseball, fans continue educating themselves on analytics that predict quality baseball players over little name recognition. For pitchers, you have something called WHIP, which measures the number of walks and hits per inning pitched. Here is the full breakdown of the WHIP stat and more.

The acronym “WHIP” refers to the walks and hits per inning pitched that an MLB pitcher records. The formula calculates how many baserunners a pitcher gives up per inning. In theory, teams and fantasy baseball owners look at WHIP as a leading indicator that the pitcher is doing their job in keeping baserunners off the base paths. Finally, intentional walks do count against WHIP, which can slightly throw off this statistic for a pitcher if this decision comes from the manager. (Source: thestadiumreviews.com)

To receive a lower WHIP via a stat line, pitchers need to record outs and not allow baserunners to reach bases. An out can be a ground out, fly out, and or strike out of the opposing hitter. In theory, a lower WHIP tends to lead to a better ERA (earned run average) for a pitcher because fewer men are on the bases to score

One knock on WHIP is that the calculation doesn’t consider how the baserunner got on base. For example, a hitter who walks has the same impact as a batter who hits a double in this calculation. WHIP does not reflect a hit batter, an error, and a runner reaching on a fielder’s choice, though. (Source: thestadiumreviews.com)

Let’s pretend that Pitcher A ended the season by giving up 60 walks, 275 hits, and pitched 210 innings. The pitcher is looking to understand their pitching statistics for the season, so they calculate their WHIP. (Source: thestadiumreviews.com)

335 Walks Plus Hits / 210 Number of innings pitched = 1.59 WHIP (Source: thestadiumreviews.com)

Like any statistic, fans need to understand the baseline on an excellent WHIP in baseball. Here is the brackets’ quick breakdown to determine what a good pitcher is worth in this statistic. (Source: thestadiumreviews.com)

Around 1.3 WHIP is an Average Pitcher (Source: thestadiumreviews.com)

While the league average for walks and hits per innings pitched is around 1.30 in 2019 via Baseball-Reference, there are some incredible pitchers with amazing WHIPS in the history of the game. Out of the ten best WHIP pitchers listed below as of 4-8-2021, seven of these pitchers are in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and some were Cy Young winners. The three players who are not Hall of Famers (Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale, and Jacob deGram) are currently active baseball players, so they are not eligible yet. As you can see below, you have a mixture of relievers and starting pitchers, which is why this stat is so valuable to teams. (Source: thestadiumreviews.com)

The WHIP stat differs from the ERA because they measure two different elements of pitching. ERA considers how many earned runs a pitcher gives up in the total innings pitched. Earned runs can be anything from a single bringing in someone to a home run. Regardless, an ERA generally reflects the pitcher allowing a baserunner to reach home plate. An unearned run won’t count against the ERA, but allowing more baserunners on the bases is where WHIP comes into play. (Source: thestadiumreviews.com)

The founding father of WHIP comes from Daniel Okrent in 1979. Daniel was part of a fantasy baseball league looking for ways to measure a pitcher’s performance. Initially, Daniel Okrent came up with the name “Innings Pitched Ratio” but later became WHIP in abbreviation form. (Source: thestadiumreviews.com)

 

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