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Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched (WHIP) has quickly become a standard stat category in many fantasy baseball leagues, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of fantasy team owners felt it wasn't worth paying attention to, the thinking being that any highly-ranked pitcher will have a great WHIP.
That certainly can be the case, and it's no surprise that last year's two Cy Young winner have sub-1.00 WHIPs this year, but the rest of the names on the list of WHIP leaders might surprise you, and if WHIP is a stat category you lose on a regular basis, one or more of these guys might be worth seeking out.
Lowest WHIP, minimum 12 IP:
Alexi Ogando, SP/RP, TEX: 18.2 IP, 0.54 WHIP
Aroldis Chapman, RP, CIN: 18.1 IP, 0.60 WHIP
Koji Uehara, RP, TEX: 12.1 IP, 0.65 WHIP
Jared Burton, RP, MIN: 13.1 IP, 0.68 WHIP
Ryan Cook, RP, OAK: 17.2 IP, 0.68 WHIP
Wilton Lopez, RP, HOU: 21.2 IP 0.69 WHIP
Scott Diamond, SP, MIN: 14 IP, 0.71 WHIP
Matt Cain, SP, SF: 51.2 IP, 0.74 WHIP
Cliff Lee, SP, PHI: 29.2 IP, 0.76 WHIP
Duane Below, RP, DET: 17 IP, 0.76 WHIP
What can we learn from this list? For one thing, in a year when it is so hard to find a good closer, you could consider forgoing the saves and instead focusing on set-up men like Ogando, Chapman and Lopez who could at least chip away at your WHIP. Some of these guys only pitch two innings per week, but every little bit helps.
The other thing is that the most effective starter for WHIP by a large margin is Cain, a guy with a 2-2 record (Diamond has only started two games thus far, and Lee has just returned from the DL). With poor run support, Cain will struggle for wins, but his WHIP could make him worth obtaining in a trade, particularly if you can afford to part with another starter with a higher number of wins to capture your trade partner's attention.
* Full Spectrum Baseball recommends picking up Carlos Zambrano. Predictably, he has been not only tantrum-free but also effective since being traded from the Cubs.
* SI.com says it's about time for Mark Teixeira to rebound from his annual early season doldrums.
* Fox Sports has ideas for replacing super-stud Matt Kemp while he's on the DL, not that you could really ever replace him. The Padres' Yonder Alonso is my favorite candidate if only for his name.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.More from Beachwood Sports »