What is WHIP Meaning in Baseball

By Alexis
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What does WHIP mean in baseball? In a Major League Baseball game, the abbreviation WHIP stands for “Walks and Hits Per Inning Pitched.” It is a statistic that measures how many runners reach base against a pitcher per inning in nine innings.

A low WHIP indicates that the pitcher has induced weak contact and not hard-hit balls, while a high WHIP typically means the pitcher has given up more hits or walks than usual.

whip baseball stat

What Does WHIP Mean in Baseball?

WHIP is a formula used to calculate a pitcher’s performance by determining how many hits and walks (in total) a pitcher has given up, per every innings pitched ratio. For a pitcher to achieve a low WHIP, he cannot give up many hits nor walks.

For example, a pitcher with a WHIP of 0.90 would have given only ten walks and allowed 22 hits over the course of 90 innings pitched (or 13.33 per nine-inning game). So, a pitcher with a lower WHIP is considered to have a good WHIP stat.

The statistic is used in both professional baseball and college baseball to measure the effectiveness of pitchers, although it can also be applied to other positions on the diamond.

For example, a batter with a high WHIP would have difficulty getting on base because he or she keeps swinging at pitches and missing or hitting balls that go right to fielders.

Is WHIP a Telltale Sign of a Good Pitcher?

When a pitcher has a high WHIP, what does that tell you? Unfortunately, it means they are either walking or hitting batters too often. A high WHIP is what you would expect from a pitcher who has poor control of the ball. However, what about pitchers with low numbers for this statistic?

The key to what a low WHIP means is in the word itself. A pitcher that has less than one hit or walks per inning pitched will be difficult for opponents to score against, and they should have more success keeping their own batters from getting on base.

On average, pitchers who record-high numbers of strikeouts will also tend to have lower WHIPs, but what you really want to look for is a pitcher who gives up very few walks and hits combined.

How is WHIP Calculated in Baseball?

There are two ways to calculate WHIP. The first way is simple: total up how many hits and how many walks the pitcher has given up, then divide one by the other. For example, if a pitcher gave up 40 hits over 50 innings pitched (or 0.80 per inning), he would have an average of 0.80 for hits allowed per inning. That same pitcher would have given up 15 walks over those 50 innings, so he could also calculate his WHIP by dividing how many walks (15) by how many innings pitched to find the average of 0.25 for walks allowed per inning.

The formula to calculate WHIP is :

WHIP = (Hits Allowed / Innings Pitched)  +  (Walks Allowed / Innings Pitched)

The second way to calculate WHIP is slightly more complicated, but it allows you to determine how many baserunners a pitcher has allowed on average per inning. To do this, you need to calculate how many total runners a pitcher has allowed, how many of those were eventually stranded on base (or left on base), and how many innings that pitcher pitched.

To find the first two numbers, you would take all batters who reached base safely against the pitcher during an inning then divide by how many innings they played in. For example, if a pitcher’s opponent reached base three times in four innings pitched, you would divide by how many batters played (four) to get 0.75 runners per inning allowed. To find how many of those were left on base or stranded after an out was recorded against them during that same innings, take the total number of runners who made it on base and divide by how many of them were left on after an out was recorded (for example, if two of three runners got stranded in four innings pitched, you would have a 0.67).

Check This Video Out to Understand What Is WHIP:

To figure out how many baserunners per inning the pitcher has allowed when all is said and done, add together how many batters reached base safely, how many of those reached base but were eventually left on after an out was recorded during that same innings, and how many batters played. For example, if a pitcher gave up three hits in four innings pitched with two outs recorded against the only batter who made it to first base each time he batted—that would be five total runners reaching base safely (three hits plus two walks) with how many of those runners eventually stranded on base after an out was recorded during that same innings? Two, so you would add five and two together to get seven total baserunners.

Calculating how many baserunners per inning allowed is the key to finding WHIP using this formula:

((Total Bases Allowed / Innings Pitched) + (Walks Allowed / Innings Pitched))  = WHIP

To calculate how many total bases a pitcher allows per inning, divide how many hits by how many innings pitched. For example, if he gave up eight hits in five innings pitched, that would be how many total bases allowed per inning (0.80). To calculate how many walks a pitcher allows on average per inning, divide how many walks he gave up by how many innings pitched to get the average of how many walks were given up each time out. In this example, if that same pitcher had two strikeouts and three runs scored against him, how many walks would he have given up on average each time out? Three divided by five (or 0.60)

What is a Good Baseball WHIP?

Most baseball experts agree that a WHIP of one or under is pretty darn good. Lower WHIPs are better, but it depends on the league to know what’s good. For instance, in the MLB, WHIPs are about 1.30 or under. While in lower levels of baseball, it could be higher.

Outstanding0.80 – 1.00
Very Good to Average1.00 – 1.30
Average to Bad1.30 – 1.50+

Career WHIP Leaders

While the league average for walks and hits per innings pitched is around 1.30 in 2019 via Baseball-Reference, there have been some pitchers who have had outstanding WHIPs over their entire careers. Here are the top ten career leaders of all time for WHIP:

1.Addie Joss0.9678
2.Ed Walsh0.9996
3.Mariano Rivera1.0003
4.Clayton Kershaw1.0023
5.Jacob deGrom1.0114
6.Chris Sale1.0357
7.John Ward1.0438
8.Pedro Martínez1.0544
9.Christy Mathewson1.0581
10.Trevor Hoffman1.0584

What’s the Origin of WHIP in Baseball?

Daniel Okrent, who invented the statistic in 1979 while in a Fantasy Baseball League, is widely reported to have said that he took an acronym of “walks and hits per innings pitched” (or possibly innings pitched) and converted it to a number.

Statistics on WHIP

  • The best single-season WHIP is  0.6176, by Hilton Smith for the Kansas City Monarchs (Negro League Team) in 1944 at the age of 37.
  • The worst career WHIP is 1.268, by Phil Niekro who pitched over 5,400 innings in the Majors.
  • The worst season WHIP is 2.028, by John McMullin who pitched 249 innings in 1871 and allowed 153 earned runs and 430 hits, he lead both categories in the league that year.

What does WHIP not measure?

WHIP does no indicate a hit batter, an error, or a runner in line with a fielder’s decision. WHIP does not give any evidence of the way a baserunner hit the ground. The data does not also reflect how a batter who has two walks has an impact on the WHIP calculation. 

How is WHIP different from ERA?

ERA measures what is controllable by the pitcher. WHIP, on the other hand, takes into account what happens once a batter makes contact with the ball. ERA does not take walks or hit-by-pitches into consideration while WHIP has no bearing on strikeouts either


Does WHIP Correlate to Wins?

No, definitely not. a pitcher’s WHIP does correlate very well to hits allowed and walks but what pitchers do with runners on base is what makes the difference between winning and losing.

Does a low WHIP Lead to More Strikeouts?

No, what leads to more strikeouts is having a high K/BB ratio. Generally, pitchers with low WHIPs pitch in the American League where batters routinely hit for higher average than players in National League (NL).

Who Has the lowest WHIP in MLB?

Currently, the lowest career WHIP in MLB is 0.9678 by Addie Joss who pitched 9 seasons in MLB from 1902-2910 with the Cleveland Naps Statistics (now known as Cleaveland Indias).

What is the League Average WHIP?

It varies from year to year but in 2019 the league average WHIP was 1.334, in 2018 the league average WHIP was 1.304, in 2017 the league average WHIP was 1.342 and in 2016 the league average WHIP was 1.325.

Final Words

WHIP is a statistic that tells you how many runners come on base during an inning by the pitcher. It stands for walks plus hits per innings pitched, and it can be used to measure the effectiveness of pitchers in preventing runs from scoring.

Key Takeaways

• Get a better understanding of the game by learning what WHIP means

• Understand how to measure and calculate WHIP 

• Increase your knowledge about an important statistic in baseball

• Increase understanding of the game

If this article was helpful, share it with your friends! And if they’re baseball fans too, please tell them about WHIP as well!

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Alexis has been playing baseball since he was around 10. He is a 2020 high school graduate that currently trying to achieve his dream of becoming a professional baseball player.