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Intermediate MLB DFS: WHIP

We continue our breakdown of the basics for MLB DFS. In this section, we look at WHIP, with definitions and some basic strategy.

Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets in action against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training baseball game at Clover Park at on March 11, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

In daily fantasy baseball, like in most things, getting the fundamentals down is integral toward laying a foundation of knowledge to build from as you progress as a player. For DFS, that means understanding how the WHIP statistic can help you build your lineups.

WHIP

Definition

WHIP, or Walks + Hits per Innings pitched, is a better indicator of pitching prowess than the Earned Run Average. WHIP has proven to be more predictive than ERA and is the preferred statistic of the two.

Strategy

Pitchers

WHIP, like wOBA for hitters, is a better predictor of future statistics than ERA, so finding discrepancies between ERA and WHIP can help you find pitchers who are pitching better or worse than their ERA numbers show, which can lead you to finding value.

WHIP vs. K/9

DraftKings puts strikeouts on a pedestal with their scoring, which ends up pushing pitchers with better K/9 stats than WHIP stats, to the forefront. WHIP and K/9 are both predictive of future performance, but strikeout prowess is more important for putting up DK points.

GPP vs. Cash

One place you can elevate WHIP statistics is in cash games. A strong WHIP should give us a better chance for consistent DK points performances with a higher floor than pitchers with great strikeout stuff, but who get into trouble more often, pushing their WHIP numbers higher.

Splits

Checking splits on any statistic is a step you should take in evaluation. As a basic rule, right handed hitters see the ball better against left handed pitchers and end up putting up better statistics against them and vice versa. If the pitcher you are evaluating has a big difference in WHIP numbers vs lefties or righties, you’ll want to know if he is facing a better right-handed or left-handed hitting lineup, depending on the splits. The same is true for hitters, as you want to match your best hitting side with the pitchers worst side for the WHIP stat.