What Does WHIP Mean in Baseball?

When you are watching Major League baseball, you may hear a lot of lingo. If you aren’t familiar with the game or are new to the sport, you may not know the meaning of some of these words. 

The more you watch baseball and research it, the more you will learn about it. And if you are planning on joining a fantasy league, you may be interested in learning more about player stats too. 

Pitcher stats can be particularly interesting and important. One word you may hear often when researching pitching stats is WHIP. If you are wondering what WHIP means, read on.


What Does WHIP Mean in Baseball?

WHIP stands for Walks and Hits Per Innings Pitched. It is a calculation based on statistics and is used to complete player stats and averages. 

It’s important to know this information if you are focusing on a pitcher’s performance for fantasy baseball leagues. It’s something that comes up often in a typical nine-inning  game.

The WHIP is calculated for each pitcher in the league. Unlike other stats, WHIP isn’t volatile, and there are a lot of factors that can go into determining it. 

It’s a good idea to understand what WHIP means for each player.

What Is the Origin of WHIP?

WHIP has been around for a while and was created by David Okrent in 1979 as a way to keep track of a pitcher’s performance. It was previously called IPRAT, which stands for Innings Pitched Ratio. 

By the 90s, WHIP had become one of the most used terms and seemed to make the most sense. The pitcher’s WHIP is considered for a variety of different reasons, most notably, fantasy baseball statistics. 

When fantasy players are interested in choosing players for their league, they will look at basic pitching stats to figure out a player’s league average and how many baserunners they average per game pitched and whether they are keeping baserunners off the base paths. 

Sometimes, pitchers can use a double play (when two players are ruled out simultaneously) to get out of tricky situations.

Most people want to choose a pitcher that has a good baseball WHIP. Of course, there’s more to consider than just the WHIP when trying to determine which pitcher is best for your team.

How Is WHIP Calculated?

WHIP is calculated as a league average and can tell you how many base runners each pitcher has during each game or during their career. Depending on how long the player has played baseball and how many innings pitched, the league average WHIP can vary. 

Calculating WHIP requires adding the hard hit balls and the number of players walked by the pitcher for an entire season. 

The number of hits per inning pitched does not necessarily matter to calculate WHIP in the Major Leagues. This number is then divided by the total number of innings pitched per season. 

The lower WHIP score is a sign of a pitcher’s dominance on the baseball field. Many people consider a WHIP score a sign that the team will win. 

While this might seem accurate, there’s a lot more to it than that.

How Is WHIP Evaluated?

The WHIP in baseball is important and offers good stats for innings pitched. A good WHIP for a professional baseball player can allow you to compare the pitching statistics of various players to figure out how many runners each pitcher has. 

This is important information for fantasy leagues and drafts. 

A good WHIP in baseball is anything below 1.1;  a poor WHIP in baseball is anything over 1.5. 

These stats do not tend to change as much from season to season regardless of the innings pitched. When choosing pitchers for these leagues, focus on the pitchers keeping the baserunners off the plates with walks. 

It’s important to consider the earned run average of starting pitchers and ask the question, does the WHIP correlate to wins? This will help ensure a winning team for your fantasy league.

What Is the Caveat Of WHIP?

WHIP may consider walks and hits per inning pitched, but it doesn’t take into consideration how a batter runs the bases. A great pitcher may not walk many players, but it doesn’t calculate hitters that are scoring based on the fielder’s choice. 

Also, WHIP treats all players’ times on base equally and doesn’t differentiate between a walk and a home run.

Pitchers with one or three hits per season can throw off the WHIP score, meaning it’s not entirely accurate. 

It can give you an idea of an on-base percentage, but the players with the lowest WHIP in MLB history, or in the national league, may not have a low WHIP when compared to other rank-player WHIP calculations, and it’s not mathematically consistent. 

For better clarity, determine a player’s effectiveness by considering how many bases were reached per batter faced.

Ultimately, it should be considered as a rough estimate and not a complete statistic that points out a good pitcher. 

What Is the Purpose of WHIP?

A lot of people pay attention to WHIP and associate a pitcher’s lower WHIP with wins in a game. American Baseball Research keeps track of the WHIP scoring position for each player and also uses it to determine the batting average per player. 

Choosing a hard-hit batter and a pitcher with a low WHIP score can be ideal for fantasy teams.

When trying to calculate the scores for individual events for players, it’s important to consider the WHIP calculation and how much effort the pitcher gave during each inning. Players may have been scoring runs for pitchers with a higher WHIP, but it’s important to compare every single season to determine how well a pitcher really does. 

The purpose of WHIP is really only relevant when focusing on stats for a fantasy league. If you are trying to create a well-rounded team, you do want to consider WHIP calculations, but keep in mind there are other pitcher stats and general player stats to consider when choosing the best players in the American League.


ERA stands for Earned Run Average and refers to how many runs a pitcher allows per nine innings. It’s another way of evaluating pitchers’ performance.

However, it doesn’t take into consideration runs given up when an error occurs with two outs in an inning.


If you are trying to find the best pitchers or rate stat for a particular pitcher for a fantasy baseball game or any other reason, the WHIP score is one to keep in mind. The box scores are a good thing to know when choosing the right team. 

It’s also important to understand that WHIP is not a perfect calculation and there are a lot of things to take into consideration when considering a pitcher’s WHIP. Be sure to think about other stats, and don’t just focus on the WHIP when determining if a player is good or not.

Some WHIP Stats 

  • The Cleveland Indians’ Addie Joss had a 0.9678 WHIP over 2,327 innings pitched. He had a 1.89 ERA during his career.
  • John Montgomery Ward had a 1.0438 WHIP
  • The Boston Braves’ Ed Walsh had a 0.9996 WHIP.