List of Major League Baseball career WHIP leaders

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.

Below is the list of the top 100 Major League Baseball pitchers in Walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) with at least 1,000 innings pitched.

Addie Joss is the all-time leader with a career WHIP of 0.9678. Ed Walsh (0.9996) is the only other player with a career WHIP under 1.0000.

Addie Joss by Carl Horner 1902
Addie Joss, the all-time leader in career WHIP.

Key

Rank Rank amongst leaders in career WHIP. A blank field indicates a tie.
Player Name of the player.
WHIP Total career WHIP.
* Denotes elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Bold Denotes active player.[note 1]

List

Clayton Kershaw (8664700662)
Clayton Kershaw, the active leader and 4th all-time in career WHIP.
  • Stats updated as of July 14, 2019.
Rank Player WHIP
1 Addie Joss * 0.9678
2 Ed Walsh * 0.9996
3 Mariano Rivera * 1.0003
4 Clayton Kershaw 1.0067
5 Chris Sale 1.0345
6 John Montgomery Ward * 1.0438
7 Pedro Martínez * 1.0544
8 Christy Mathewson * 1.0581
9 Trevor Hoffman * 1.0584
10 Walter Johnson * 1.0612
11 Mordecai Brown * 1.0658
12 Charlie Sweeney 1.0673
13 Jacob deGrom 1.0774
14 Reb Russell 1.0800
15 Corey Kluber 1.0860
16 Jim Devlin 1.0868
17 Smoky Joe Wood 1.0869
18 Jack Pfiester 1.0887
19 George Bradley 1.0901
20 Stephen Strasburg 1.0902
21 Tommy Bond 1.0908
Max Scherzer 1.0908
23 Babe Adams 1.0920
24 Juan Marichal * 1.1012
25 Dick Hall 1.1019
Rube Waddell * 1.1019
27 Larry Corcoran 1.1048
28 Deacon Phillippe 1.1051
29 Sandy Koufax * 1.1061
30 Fred Glade 1.1066
31 Ed Morris 1.1075
32 Will White 1.1110
33 Chief Bender * 1.1127
34 Madison Bumgarner 1.1057
35 Charlie Ferguson 1.1171
36 Terry Larkin 1.1172
37 Eddie Plank * 1.1189
38 Doc White 1.1207
39 Tom Seaver * 1.1208
40 Grover Cleveland Alexander * 1.1212
41 Tim Keefe * 1.1230
42 Hoyt Wilhelm * 1.1245
43 Cy Young * 1.1296
44 Frank Owen 1.1306
45 George McQuillan 1.1311
46 Hooks Wiltse 1.1315
47 Noodles Hahn 1.1319
48 Johan Santana 1.1320
49 Jim McCormick 1.1322
50 Ray Collins 1.1340
Rank Player WHIP
51 Catfish Hunter * 1.1340
52 Lady Baldwin 1.1347
53 Curt Schilling 1.1374
54 Bruce Sutter * 1.1401
55 Bret Saberhagen 1.1406
56 Nick Altrock 1.1407
57 Sam Leever 1.1411
58 Ferguson Jenkins * 1.1418
59 Don Sutton * 1.1425
60 Greg Maddux * 1.1431
Ed Reulbach 1.1431
62 Andy Messersmith 1.1433
63 Sid Fernandez 1.1443
64 David Price 1.1444
65 Jeff Tesreau 1.1447
66 Gary Nolan 1.1453
67 Justin Verlander 1.1461
68 Joe Benz 1.1466
Jim Whitney 1.1466
70 Don Drysdale * 1.1477
71 Charles Radbourn 1.1492
72 Barney Pelty 1.1504
73 Jack Chesbro * 1.1520
74 Tiny Bonham 1.1528
75 Fred Goldsmith 1.1530
76 Russ Ford 1.1537
77 Eddie Cicotte 1.1544
78 Rollie Fingers * 1.1556
79 Bob Caruthers 1.1578
80 Dick Rudolph 1.1581
81 Babe Ruth * 1.1586
82 Harry Coveleski 1.1587
83 Dennis Eckersley * 1.1608
84 Orval Overall 1.1613
85 Zack Greinke 1.1622
86 Gerrit Cole 1.1625
87 Denny McLain 1.1633
88 Jumbo McGinnis 1.1636
89 George Winter 1.1649
90 Frank Smith 1.1658
91 Carl Hubbell * 1.1659
92 Guy Hecker 1.1676
93 Jake Weimer 1.1679
94 Robin Roberts * 1.1696
95 Slim Sallee 1.1702
96 Randy Johnson * 1.1711
97 Hiroki Kuroda 1.1721
98 Roy Patterson 1.1722
99 Cole Hamels 1.1724
100 Roger Clemens 1.1725

Notes

  1. ^ A player is considered inactive if he has announced his retirement or not played for a full season.

References

Charles Radbourn

Charles Gardner Radbourn (December 11, 1854 – February 5, 1897), nicknamed "Old Hoss", was an American professional baseball pitcher who played 12 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for the Buffalo Bisons (1880), Providence Grays (1881–1885), Boston Beaneaters (1886–1889), Boston Reds (1890), and Cincinnati Reds (1891).

Born in New York and raised in Illinois, Radbourn played semi-professional and minor league baseball before making his major league debut for the Buffalo Bisons in 1880. After a one-year stint with the club, Radbourn joined the Providence Grays. During the 1884 season, Radbourn won 60 games, setting an MLB single-season record that has never been broken. He also led the National League (NL) in earned run average (ERA) and strikeouts to win the Triple Crown, and the Grays won the league championship. After the regular season, he helped the Grays win the 1884 World Series, pitching every inning of the three games.

In 1885, when the Grays team folded, the roster was transferred to NL control, and Radbourn was claimed by the Boston Beaneaters. He spent the next four seasons with the club, spent one year with the Boston Reds, and finished his MLB career with the Cincinnati Reds. Radbourn was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.

Charlie Sweeney

Charles Joseph Sweeney (April 13, 1863 – April 4, 1902) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher from 1883 through 1887. He played for the Providence Grays, St. Louis Maroons, and Cleveland Blues, and is best known for his performance in 1884, when he won 41 games.

Chris Sale

Christopher Allen Sale (born March 30, 1989) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the Chicago White Sox, with whom he made his major league debut on August 6, 2010. As a power pitcher, Sale excels at achieving high numbers of strikeouts, and has set a number of strikeout-related records. He bats and throws left-handed, stands 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m), and weighs 180 pounds (82 kg).A seven-time MLB All-Star consecutively from 2012 to 2018, Sale is a two-time American League (AL) leader in strikeouts, including in 2015 and 2017. As of 2017, he is MLB's career leader in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.25), and reached 1,500 strikeouts in the second fewest innings pitched (1,290). After reaching 300 strikeouts in a single season for the first time in 2017, he was selected as the AL Sporting News Starting Pitcher of the Year. Although he has yet to win a Cy Young Award, in each of his All-Star seasons, he has placed in the top six.

A native of Lakeland, Florida, located within the Tampa Bay Area, Sale played college baseball for Florida Gulf Coast University. The Chicago White Sox selected him 13th overall in the 2010 amateur draft. He was a key member of the Red Sox pitching rotation that helped the team win the 2018 World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is under contract with Boston through 2024.

Corey Kluber

Corey Scott Kluber (born April 10, 1986), nicknamed Klubot, is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2011, as a member of the Indians. A power pitcher, Kluber achieves high strikeout rates through a two-seam sinker and a breaking ball that variously resembles a slider and a curveball.

A three-time MLB All-Star, Kluber is a two-time winner of the Cy Young Award in the American League (AL) including in 2014, his second full season in the major leagues, and in 2017. In 2016, he was named the Sporting News AL Starting Pitcher of the Year. He led the major leagues in earned run average (ERA) in 2017, and has twice led the AL in wins. On May 13, 2015, Kluber became one of 20 pitchers in major league history to strike out at least 18 batters in a nine-inning game, doing so versus the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2018, Kluber notched his first 20-win season.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Kluber played high school baseball for Coppell High School in Coppell, Texas. He then attended Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, where he was named Atlantic Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2007, and was inducted into the Stetson Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014. The San Diego Padres selected Kluber in fourth round of the 2007 draft, and traded him to the Indians in 2010 as part of a three-team transaction. Kluber established himself in the Indians' starting rotation in 2013. He is signed through 2019, after agreeing to a five-year, $38.5 million contract extension with the Indians in April 2015. The Indians hold club options on Kluber's contract for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Greg Maddux

Gregory Alan Maddux (born April 14, 1966) is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher. Maddux is best known for his accomplishments while playing for the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs. With the Braves, he won the 1995 World Series over the Cleveland Indians. The first to achieve a number of feats and records, he was the first pitcher in major league history to win the Cy Young Award for four consecutive years (1992–1995), matched by only one other pitcher, Randy Johnson. During those four seasons, Maddux had a 75–29 record with a 1.98 earned run average (ERA), while allowing less than one baserunner per inning.Maddux is the only pitcher in MLB history to win at least 15 games for 17 straight seasons. In addition, he holds the record for most Gold Gloves with 18. A superb control pitcher, Maddux won more games during the 1990s than any other pitcher and is 8th on the all-time career wins list with 355. Since the start of the post-1920 live-ball era, only Warren Spahn (363) recorded more career wins than Maddux. He is one of only 10 pitchers ever to achieve both 300 wins and 3,000 strikeouts, and is the only pitcher to record more than 300 wins, more than 3,000 strikeouts, and fewer than 1,000 walks.Since his retirement as a player, Maddux has also served as a special assistant to the general manager for both the Cubs and Texas Rangers. On January 8, 2014, he was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, in his first year of eligibility, receiving 97.2 percent of the votes.

Justin Verlander

Justin Brooks Verlander (born February 20, 1983) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Detroit Tigers for 13 seasons, with whom he made his major league debut on July 4, 2005. A right-handed batter and thrower, Verlander stands 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) tall and weighs 225 pounds (102 kg).

From Manakin-Sabot, Virginia, Verlander attended Old Dominion University (ODU) and played college baseball for the Monarchs. He broke the Monarchs' and Colonial Athletic Association's career records for strikeouts. At the 2003 Pan American Games, Verlander helped lead the United States national team to a silver medal. The Tigers selected him in the first round and as the second overall pick of the 2004 first-year player draft. As a former ace in the Tigers' starting rotation, he was a key figure in four consecutive American League (AL) Central division championships from 2011−2014, two AL Pennants in 2006 and 2012, and in the Astros' first World Series championship in 2017. He is among the career pitching leaders for the Tigers, including ranking second in strikeouts (2,373), seventh in wins (183), and eighth in innings pitched (2511).

The winner of a number of accolades, Verlander is an eight-time MLB All-Star, has led the AL in strikeouts five times and in wins twice. He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 2006, and on June 12, 2007, pitched the first no-hitter at Comerica Park versus the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2009, he led the AL in wins and strikeouts, both for the first time. Verlander produced his most successful season in 2011, including his second career no-hitter versus the Toronto Blue Jays on May 7, 2011. By season's end, Verlander won the Pitching Triple Crown, the AL Cy Young Award unanimously, the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, and the Sporting News Player of the Year Award.

On August 31, 2017, the Tigers traded Verlander to the Houston Astros just before the trade deadline, and he immediately became an impact for the team, going undefeated in his first five starts heading into the postseason. He helped lead the Astros to the 2017 World Series, which they won over the Los Angeles Dodgers, giving him his first career ring. For his performance in the 2017 American League Championship Series, he was named MVP, and was co-winner of the Babe Ruth Award (with teammate José Altuve) for most outstanding performance in the 2017 postseason. In the 2018 season, Verlander became the 114th pitcher in major league history to reach 200 career wins, also becoming the 20th fastest to reach the milestone (412 starts).

Madison Bumgarner

Madison Kyle Bumgarner (born August 1, 1989), commonly known by his nickname, "MadBum", is an American professional baseball pitcher for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB). Bumgarner has won three World Series championships (2010, 2012, 2014) and two Silver Slugger Awards (2014, 2015). He has also been selected to four National League All-Star teams and has the most strikeouts in franchise history by a Giants left-handed pitcher.Bumgarner played high school baseball at South Caldwell High School in Hudson, North Carolina, where he helped his team win the 2007 4A State Championship. After graduating, he was selected with the tenth overall pick in the 2007 MLB draft by the San Francisco Giants. In 2008, his first year playing professionally, he won the South Atlantic League pitching triple crown. He and Buster Posey both made their Major League debuts in 2009, and have since established a reputation as one of the best batteries in recent MLB history, largely due to their prolific success early in their careers. Bumgarner pitched eight scoreless innings in Game 4 of the 2010 World Series, helping win the franchise's first World Series in San Francisco and the first since 1954. Two years later, Bumgarner pitched seven more scoreless innings in Game 2 of the 2012 World Series. Bumgarner became the ace of a Giants pitching staff that won three World Series championships in a five-year span.

Following one of the most dominant postseason and World Series pitching performances in modern MLB history, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 World Series, the 2014 Babe Ruth Award winner, the 2014 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, and the 2014 Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year.

Max Scherzer

Maxwell M. Scherzer (born July 27, 1984) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB). Nicknamed “Mad Max”, he made his MLB debut as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2008, and later played for the Detroit Tigers. He has been an important figure in the both the Tigers' and Nationals' playoff presence, including Detroit's four consecutive American League Central titles from 2011−2014 and two of Washington's National League East titles. A power pitcher with a low three-quarter-arm delivery, Scherzer has achieved numerous strikeout records and distinctions. He is the tenth pitcher in history to garner at least three Cy Young Awards, the sixth to record two no-hitters in one season, the fifth to produce more than one immaculate inning, and the fourth to strike out at least 200 batters in a season seven years in a row.

The Diamondbacks selected Scherzer, a native of Greater St. Louis, in the first round and 11th overall of the 2006 amateur draft from the University of Missouri. A seven-time MLB All-Star, he is the fifth pitcher to start an All-Star Game for both the American and National Leagues. He is a winner of three strikeout titles, a four-time wins leader, and a four-time walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) leader. In addition to three Cy Young Awards, he also finished second in its voting in 2018 and fifth in 2014 and 2015. One the most consistent hurlers of his era, he has made at least 30 starts each season from 2009–2018, and struck out at least 230 batters in each season from 2012–2018. In 2018, he reached 300 strikeouts for the first time. Prior to the 2015 season, Scherzer agreed to a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Nationals, one of the largest in baseball history.

During his major league debut, Scherzer established the record for most consecutive hitters retired in a relief appearance as a major league debut with 13. He became the third pitcher to start a season with a 19–1 win–loss record, on the way to winning his first Cy Young Award in 2013. In 2015, Scherzer became the sixth pitcher in Major League history to record multiple no-hitters in a single season, including the first with at least 17 strikeouts and no bases on balls, and the first to accrue a game score of 100 or more twice in one season. On May 11, 2016, he tied the major league nine-inning strikeout record with 20, making him the second player to achieve both a no-hitter and 20 strikeouts over nine-innings. In 2017, he became the third-fastest hurler to record 2,000 strikeouts, and the fourth to strike out 250 or more in four consecutive seasons. Scherzer has more strikeouts (2,503) than any pitcher in the 2010s. He recorded one immaculate inning each in 2017 and 2018.

Randy Johnson

Randall David Johnson (born September 10, 1963), nicknamed "The Big Unit", is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), from 1988 to 2009, for six teams. He played primarily for the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks. His 303 career victories rank as the fifth-most by a left-hander in MLB history, while his 4,875 strikeouts place him second all-time behind Nolan Ryan and are the most by a left-hander. He holds five of the seven highest single-season strikeout totals by a left-hander in modern history. Johnson won the Cy Young Award five times, second only to Roger Clemens' seven, and he is one of only two pitchers (the other being Greg Maddux) to win the award in four consecutive seasons (1999–2002). In 1999, he joined Pedro Martínez and Gaylord Perry in the rare feat of winning the award in both the American and National Leagues (a feat since accomplished by Clemens, Roy Halladay, and Max Scherzer). He is also one of five pitchers to pitch no-hitters in both leagues. On May 18, 2004, at the age of forty, Johnson became the oldest pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game, and is one of seven pitchers who have thrown both a perfect game and a no-hitter in their careers. He is also one of eighteen pitchers in history to record a win against all 30 MLB franchises. On May 8th 2001, Johnson achieved the feat of striking out 20 batters in one game, doing so against the Reds.

One of the tallest players in major league history at 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 m), and a ten-time All-Star, Johnson was celebrated for having one of the most dominant fastballs in the game. He regularly approached – and occasionally exceeded – 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), during his prime. Johnson also threw a hard, biting slider. After struggling early in his career (having won only 64 games by his 30th birthday), he went on to lead his league in strikeouts nine times, and in earned run average, winning percentage, and complete games four times each. Johnson was named one of two (along with Curt Schilling) World Series Most Valuable Players in 2001, with three pitching victories, leading the Diamondbacks to a world championship over the New York Yankees in only Arizona’s fourth year of play. He won the pitching Triple Crown in 2002.

Johnson's .646 career winning percentage ranks sixth among lefthanders with at least 200 decisions; among southpaws, he ranks eighth in games started (603) and ninth in innings pitched (​4,135 1⁄3). Johnson’s career elite rankings also include: first in strikeouts per nine innings pitched (10.67), third in hit batsmen (188), and tenth in fewest hits allowed per nine innings pitched (7.24). He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015, his first year of eligibility, and is the first member of the Hall to be depicted in a Diamondbacks uniform on his plaque.

Sandy Koufax

Sanford Koufax (; born Sanford Braun; December 30, 1935) is an American professional baseball left-handed pitcher. He pitched 12 seasons for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1955 to 1966. Koufax, at age 36 in 1972, became the youngest player ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He has been hailed as one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history.

Koufax's career peaked with a run of six outstanding years from 1961 to 1966, before arthritis in his left elbow ended his career prematurely at age 30. He was an All-Star for six seasons and was the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1963. He won three Cy Young Awards in 1963, 1965, and 1966, by unanimous votes, making him the first three-time Cy Young winner in baseball history and the only one to win three times when one overall award was given for all of major league baseball instead of one award for each league. Koufax also won the NL Triple Crown for pitchers those same three years by leading the NL in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average.Koufax was the first major league pitcher to pitch four no-hitters and the eighth pitcher to pitch a perfect game in baseball history. Despite his comparatively short career, Koufax's 2,396 career strikeouts ranked 7th in history as of his retirement, at the time trailing only Warren Spahn (2,583) among left-handers. Koufax, Trevor Hoffman, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martínez, and Nolan Ryan are the only five pitchers elected to the Hall of Fame who had more strikeouts than innings pitched.

Koufax is also remembered as one of the outstanding Jewish athletes in American sports. His decision not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur garnered national attention as an example of conflict between professional pressures and personal beliefs.

Walks plus hits per inning pitched

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 is calculated by adding the number of walks and hits allowed and dividing this sum by the number of innings pitched.WHIP reflects a pitcher's propensity for allowing batters to reach base, therefore a lower WHIP indicates better performance.

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. On-base plus slugging, or OPS, a comparable measurement of the ability of a hitter, is another example of comparison.

Will White

William Henry "Whoop-La" White (October 11, 1854 – August 31, 1911) was an American baseball pitcher and manager from 1875 to 1889. He played all or parts of 10 seasons in Major League Baseball, primarily for the Cincinnati Reds in the National League (1878–1879) and the Cincinnati Red Stockings in the American Association (1882–1886). He had three 40-win, and one 40-loss, seasons in Cincinnati. During the 1882 and 1883 seasons, he led the American Association in wins, compiling an 83–34 win–loss record and a 1.84 earned run average (ERA).

Over the course of 10 major league seasons, White compiled a 229–166 record with a 2.28 ERA. His career ERA ranks ninth on the all-time list of Major League Baseball career ERA leaders. White also set a number of major league pitching records and still holds several. His 1879 totals of 75 complete games, 75 games started, 680 innings pitched, and 2,906 batters faced remain major league records. He was also the player-manager of the Red Stockings for 71 games during the 1884 season, compiling a 44–27 managerial record. He is also remembered as the first, and for many years only, major league player to wear eyeglasses on the baseball field.

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