March 1, 2021

Why I Don’t Use WHIP (MLB Trade Rumors)


In an article in early January, I explained the pitching stats we use regularly here at MLBTR.  At the end, I briefly noted that I don’t use WHIP outside of fantasy baseball.  Several commenters inquired about that choice, so I decided a separate article might be helpful.

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that WHIP is (walks + hits) / innings pitched.  Hit-by-pitches aside, WHIP is a measure of baserunners allowed by a pitcher per inning.  In 2020, Zac Gallen allowed 25 walks and 55 hits in 72 innings for a 1.11 WHIP.  The calculation: (25 + 55) / 72 = 1.11.

In briefly researching how WHIP came to be, I found this fun Wall Street Journal article from 2009 by Nando Di Fino.  WHIP was conceived in 1979 by Daniel Okrent, better known as the man who invented fantasy baseball.  Okrent originally called the stat IPRAT – “Innings Pitched Ratio.” It was later renamed to the catchier WHIP.  Though in his 11-year-old article Di Fino wrote that WHIP “is generally…



Read “Why I Don’t Use WHIP” at MLB Trade Rumors