Walks plus hits per inning pitched
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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.
The stat was invented in 1979 by writer Daniel Okrent, who called the metric "innings pitched ratio" at the time. Okrent excluded hit batsmen from the numerator of baserunners allowed since Sunday newspapers did not include hit batsmen in their statistical updates. WHIP near 1.00 or lower over the course of a season will often rank among the league leaders in Major League Baseball (MLB).
While earned run average (ERA) measures the runs a pitcher gives up, WHIP more directly measures a pitcher's effectiveness against batters. WHIP accounts for pitcher performance regardless of errors and unearned runs.
WHIP is one of the few sabermetric statistics to enter mainstream baseball usage. (On-base plus slugging, or OPS, a comparable measurement of the ability of a hitter, is another example.) It is one of the most commonly used statistics in fantasy baseball and is standard in fantasy leagues that employ 4×4, 5×5, and 6×6 formats.
The lowest single-season WHIP in MLB history is 0.7373 from Pedro Martínez pitching for the Boston Red Sox in 2000, which broke the previous record of 0.77 from Guy Hecker of the Louisville Eclipse. Cleveland Indians right-handed pitcher Addie Joss currently holds the MLB record for the lowest career WHIP, with a 0.9678 WHIP in 2,327 innings. Chicago White Sox spitballer Ed Walsh ranks second, with a 0.9996 WHIP in 2,964 innings, the lowest career WHIP for a qualified pitcher with 10 or more seasons pitched. Reliever Mariano Rivera ranks third among qualified pitchers with a career WHIP of 1.000 in 1,2832⁄3 innings, the lowest mark by any pitcher from the live-ball era. Providence Grays and New York Gothams right-hander Monte Ward is fourth all time with a career WHIP of 1.0435, followed by Clayton Kershaw, whose 1.0439 career WHIP is the lowest of any starting pitcher from the live-ball era.