WHIP and How it Affects the Cardinals

Baseball probably has one of the most complex sets of statistics used to analyze the game. Whether you like it or not, that will never change. If you are curious, just watch the movie, Moneyball.

WHIP is not one of the craziest stats to understand, but one of the most important. Sometimes looking at some of the Sabermetrics is like reading another language, but let’s start off with something simple. We are going to dive into what WHIP is, and see if the St. Louis Cardinals have a good WHIP.

What is WHIP?

WHIP is actually pretty simple, and if you stare at the four letters long enough, you may be able to guess what it means. It stands for walks and hits per inning pitched. The lower the WHIP, the better.

Aside from ERA and a pitcher’s record, it is one of the most commonly used numbers to analyze the performance of the man on the mound. Basically, the job of this stat is to show if pitchers can keep runners off of the bases. It combines both hits and walks per inning, and is a really important stat to analyze. Hit batters, errors and fielder’s choices are left off the stat.

Many pitchers have a high WHIP for different reasons. Because it calculates both walks and hits, a pitcher may allow few hits, but struggle with hits. To really understand how a pitcher is looking, dive into his season numbers and advanced stats, but WHIP is a great place to start.

St. Louis Cardinals’ WHIP

Now that you know what WHIP is, let’s analyze the St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff in 2022. If the season ended today, the average MLB WHIP would be the lowest since 1972. As of now, in the early portion of the second half of the season, the average WHIP in MLB is 1.273.

The Cardinals have a WHIP this season of 1.28, right around league average. That number is good enough for 17th in all of baseball, and 8th in the MLB.

You should expect a starting pitcher who throws more innings to have a higher WHIP than a reliever. Anything below the league average of 1.273 would generally be considered pretty good.

Miles Mikolas has the lowest WHIP of starting pitchers on the team with 0.99, which is phenomenal in 125.1 IP. The ageless wonder, Adam Wainwright, is sitting at 1.24. Ryan Helsley, our All-Star relief pitcher, has the lowest on the team with 0.64 in 40.1 IP.

In Jack Flaherty’s three starts in 2022, he has a WHIP of 2.13. He had command issues, and walks are the reason the number is so high. Dakota Hudson has a 1.36, Steven Matz has a 1.31, Andre Pallante has a 1.47 and Matthew Liberatore has a 1.74. Finally–one of the best pitchers in the league–Yadier Molina has a 3.00 WHIP.

The Cardinals are middle of the pack when it comes to WHIP, but the middle of the pack is not good enough for the Cardinals. The bullpen needs to tighten up, and hopefully, we can get a reliever before the deadline to help us drop that number.