What is WHIP in Baseball?

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One statistic that accurately measures a pitcher’s worth is WHIP, or walks plus hits per innings pitched. The lower the WHIP number, generally, the better the pitcher.

whip baseball

What Does WHIP Mean in Baseball?

The WHIP baseball statistic measures a pitcher’s effectiveness by adding his walks and hits allowed and applying that number to innings pitched.

For example, Starting Pitcher A compiles nine innings pitched during which he allows five hits and four walks.

That number is divided into nine (for the innings pitched) and the result – the WHIP – is 1.00 (one walk + hit per inning pitched).

Is WHIP the Most Important Pitching Stat?

The WHIP baseball statistic is widely considered among the leading indicators of a pitcher’s talent and effectiveness.

It’s also an important factor to consider when placing informed wagers at online sports betting sites as part of your betting strategy.

Of the past five years’ worth of Cy Young winners – the award given to the best pitcher in the American League and National League – at least one of the two yearly winners also led his league in WHIP.

  • 2023: Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
  • 2022: Justin Verlander, Houston Astros
  • 2021: Robbie Ray, Toronto Blue Jays
  • 2022: Trevor Bauer, Cincinnati Reds
  • 2019: Verlander, Astros

Other key pitching stats include Earned Run Average (ERA is the number of earned runs allowed per nine innings pitched) and Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP is a measure of only those factors a pitcher can control: walks, strikeouts, and home runs).

What is a Good WHIP in Baseball?

Only twice in the past seven years has the leader in the American League or National League posted a WHIP above 1.00.

With the Major League Baseball average WHIP at approximately 1.30, the leading pitchers in the game can usually be found at or below 1.20 WHIP.

Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros has kept his WHIP under 1.18 in every year since 2014, when he finished at 1.39.

More instructive is the fact that Verlander was 32 years old in 2015 and has continued to put up amazing WHIP numbers over the years.

He’s still pitching in 2024, at age 41, coming off a 2023 season that saw him post a WHIP of 1.12 in 68 innings.

How WHIP Affects Your Betting

The WHIP baseball stat is perhaps the most important number to use when considering how to bet on baseball games.

Identifying the strength of a starting pitcher is a tool necessary when using the best MLB sportsbooks and considering a wager, so be sure to study the data before placing any bets.

The WHIP is a go-to destination in baseball betting, whether it’s a wager on a full game or on a No Runs First Inning (NRFI) prop bet.

FAQs

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Jay Dieffenbach
Sports Betting Expert
Jay Dieffenbach
Sports Betting Expert

Jay is a Sports Betting Writer at Techopedia.com, and has been working in US sports for more than 20 years. He's worked for Daily Racing Form, the Arizona Republic, The Athletic and FanDuel among other sports and gambling positions.