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How to calculate WHIP and use it for betting on baseball

WHIP (or "Walks plus Hits per Inning Pitched) is a statistic that is particularly popular with the fantasy and rotisserie baseball crowds. It represents the average number of base runners (walks and hits) a pitcher allows per inning pitched. It is very easy to see how this would come in handy to the baseball gambler as well. The statistic basically will show you how often the pitcher allows base runners. The more base runners or the potential to put runners on base, the more dangerous it is for that pitcher. Therefore a team with a pitcher that has a high WHIP may not be the best pitcher to put money on. Now that WHIP has been defined the next step is to figure out how to calculate it.

To calculate WHIP, use the following formula: WHIP = (Walks + Hits) / Innings Pitched (IP)

WHIP is denoted as a number followed by a decimal point with two or three numbers after the decimal point (depending on how accurate you want to be). For example, a pitcher who walks 2 hitters and allows 7 hits in a nine-inning game has a WHIP of 1.000. In other words, the pitcher allowed an average of one base runner per inning pitched. A 1.000 WHIP is considered to be exceptional and will more likely than not be among the league leaders. A whip under 1.250 or so is still quite good. Once a WHIP gets up in the 1.500 area or higher, a pitcher is going to start having trouble being successful on a consistent basis. Now that WHIP is understood it should become very clear on how a handicapper or baseball bettor could use it to their advantage.

The starting pitcher drives the line in baseball and is center piece to any game. As a handicapper the starting pitcher has to be dissected to figure out if he is worthy of the money line that he was labeled with or if there is value betting against him. WHIP among other stats help in making that determination. This is an advanced stat and at first is hard for people to understand or use, so instead they avoid it. However this is a big mistake. The handicapper should take the time to learn this stat as well as all others and use them to make the best decision on every game. In the long run it will lead to more winners and ultimately more money.

When it comes to betting on baseball the most important player to handicap in any game is the starting pitcher. He controls the line and could easily make the difference between winning and losing. With that being said it is very obvious that understanding pitcher stats would be equally important. For the purpose of this article we will investigate ERA. Before we discuss how it can be applied to betting we should discuss how to calculate ERA. Determining a pitcher's earned run average, or ERA, is a way of deciding how effective the pitcher is without taking other players' errors into account. ERA represents how many runs a pitcher gives up during an entire game pitched, so the lower the number the better. ERA standards have varied throughout the years; as of 2009, ERAs in the low 2.00s are considered first-rate, with the normal typically running over 4.00. Here is how to calculate ERA.

Compute the total number of earned runs the pitcher has given up over the period of time you'd like to compute his ERA for. Don't count any unearned runs---that is, runs made because of errors on the field. You'll also need to know how many innings the pitcher pitched during the same time period. Divide the number of earned runs the pitcher is charged with by the number of innings pitched. Multiply the result from Step 2 by 9, unless the pitcher is in high school---in that case, multiply by 7. This final answer is the ERA for the pitcher in question over the time period you gathered the statistics for. This is an important measure of pitching and even more important for betting.

Since starting pitchers drive the odds and can control the game, ERA is a very important number to include in all areas of handicapping when covering a baseball game. This stat can potentially show you how vulnerable a pitcher can be when looking at ERA against the opposition or in a certain ballpark or even when looking at performance at home or on the road. This number should be just one of many that is considered by a handicapper but among the most important ones used. Any handicapper will soon realize that statistics influence the game and could lead to boosting your bankroll during the major league baseball season.