Adam Wainwright
Adam Wainwright
39-Year-Old PitcherSP
St. Louis Cardinals
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The veteran right-hander stuck around with the Cardinals on a pair of one-year deals over the past two seasons, but it remains to be seen if he'll have to go elsewhere to continue his career in 2021. Wainwright posted a 3.15 ERA and 1.05 WHIP (his best numbers since 2015) during the shortened season, though his xFIP (4.23) indicates the figures may be a bit deceiving. The 39-year-old had a 20.6% strikeout rate and 5.7% walk rate over 65.2 innings during 2020. The drop in revenue across baseball as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is having a clear impact on free agency, and Wainwright could find himself with limited opportunities for next year. The veteran righty would likely compete for a spot in the back end of the starting rotation wherever he latches on, assuming he elects to return for a 16th season. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#426
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Cardinals in January of 2021.
Returns to St. Louis
PSt. Louis Cardinals
January 28, 2021
Wainwright agreed Thursday with the Cardinals on a one-year, $8 million contract, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
ANALYSIS
Wainwright has spent his entire 15-year career in St. Louis, so he never seemed to be a legitimate threat to head elsewhere in free agency. He's coming off of a strong 2020 campaign, during which he maintained a 3.15 ERA across 65.2 frames. Wainwright should be penciled into the back end of the Cardinals' rotation heading into his age-39 season.
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Pitching Stats
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2020
2019
2018
2017
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
91
Last 10 Games
92
Last 5 Games
88
How many pitches does Adam Wainwright generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Adam Wainwright generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2018
 
 
-4%
BAA vs RHP
2020
 
 
-7%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-9%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-5%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2018vs Left .265 556 105 66 127 22 2 22
Since 2018vs Right .255 620 141 30 146 33 1 13
2020vs Left .211 116 21 6 23 2 0 6
2020vs Right .226 134 32 8 28 7 0 2
2019vs Left .288 343 62 45 84 17 2 14
2019vs Right .262 402 91 19 97 21 1 8
2018vs Left .256 97 22 15 20 3 0 2
2018vs Right .269 84 18 3 21 5 0 3
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2018
 
 
-43%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-7%
ERA on Road
2019
 
 
-59%
ERA at Home
2018
 
 
-3%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2018Home 3.06 1.23 164.2 12 8 0 7.5 2.5 1.1
Since 2018Away 5.34 1.50 113.0 9 9 0 8.7 4.1 1.2
2020Home 3.24 1.06 41.2 2 2 0 6.3 1.7 1.3
2020Away 3.00 1.04 24.0 3 1 0 9.4 2.6 1.1
2019Home 2.56 1.29 95.0 9 4 0 8.0 2.9 1.0
2019Away 6.22 1.59 76.2 5 6 0 8.1 3.9 1.3
2018Home 4.50 1.29 28.0 1 2 0 8.0 2.3 1.3
2018Away 4.38 1.86 12.1 1 2 0 10.9 8.0 0.7
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Stat Review
How does Adam Wainwright compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 120 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
3.60
 
K/9
7.4
 
BB/9
2.1
 
HR/9
1.2
 
Fastball
89.3 mph
 
ERA
3.15
 
WHIP
1.05
 
BABIP
.255
 
GB/FB
1.36
 
Left On Base
78.0%
 
Exit Velocity
80.4 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
3.6%
 
Spin Rate
2438 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
23.8%
 
Swinging Strike
10.8%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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150 days ago
Mike Barner sets the stage for Thursday’s playoff slate, recommending San Diego’s Tommy Pham against the Cardinals.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
Waino will return to the Cardinals in 2020 at age 38, for a 15th major-league season. The curve remains his bread and butter, which is good given his fastball is nearly to the point where it would bounce off a window. It is tough to imagine he can string together another productive season with the declining fastball velocity and throwing a ton of curves, but that is how he pitched in September when he went 5-1 over his final six starts with a 2.97 ERA. The strikeout rate was down in September, but so were the walks. With the return to St. Louis, Wainwright could be a decent source of strikeouts and wins, but the ratios simply are not what they once were for him. If the strikeouts are slow out of the gate and the radar gun isn't showing 90, act quickly to replace him because the decline could come rapidly.
Despite a third straight subpar season, the Cardinals signed Wainwright to return for a 15th campaign. On top of declining skills, Wainwright has missed parts of the past two years, including a pair if DL stints last season. The first, for elbow inflammation, lasted three weeks. He made one start upon his return, lasting 2.1 innings before aggravating the injury. He required a second extended visit through Sept. 10. In four starts down the stretch, Wainwright posted a 4.84 ERA, but a 1.16 WHIP supported by 25 strikeouts with just four walks in 22.1 innings offers hope there's still something left in the tank. Wainwright relies predominantly on his 74-mph curveball -- his best pitch. To be most effective, Wainwright needs pinpoint control with his 90-mph fastball, something that's been slipping the past three seasons. The 37-year-old has a good chance of beginning the year in the rotation, but don't pay for the name brand. He's an injury and performance risk.
Wainwright's fantasy value continued to plummet in 2017, as the 36-year-old hurler posted career-worst marks in ERA (5.11) and WHIP (1.50) for a second consecutive season. He hasn't been the same since missing the majority of the 2015 season with a torn Achilles; in five seasons preceding the injury Wainwright held a 2.83 ERA and 1.12 WHIP, but he's seen those numbers balloon to 4.81 and 1.44, respectively, in his two post-injury campaigns. While the right-hander hasn't seen any significant dip in velocity, he's missing more spots than normal, resulting in career-worst walk and home-run rates (3.3 BB/9 and 1.0 HR/9). He was also limited to just 123.1 innings due to back and elbow injuries, with an elbow scope ending his season in September. While he's expected to be healthy and back in the starting rotation next spring, his days as a viable fantasy option could be over.
For the first time in his career as a starter, Wainwright turned in an ERA above 4.00 and posted a bloated 1.40 WHIP. However, he'd missed almost all of 2015 courtesy of a torn Achilles and it's not as though 2016 was a complete failure. His ERA was virtually the same between the first and second half of the year (4.49 versus 4.79) and his BB/9 was 2.7, his highest since 2007. Lefties and righties alike hit him with ease, combining for a career-high .287 batting average against and resulting in a 3.99 FIP -- his highest in any qualifying season. His hard-hit rate was a career high while his groundball rate was a career low. Given his reputation as an ace that stems from consistent dominance in recent years, particularly the 2010-14 stretch that saw him average a 2.83 FIP and 1.03 WHIP, Wainwright figures to be a fairly popular rebound candidate in 2017, but last season appears to be his new floor.
Wainwright missed most of the 2015 season after tearing his left Achilles in his fourth start of the season. He recovered somewhat quickly to throw three additional innings in relief over the final week of the season while also throwing another solid 5.1 innings during the Cardinals playoff series against Chicago. Before the injury Wainwright looked to be off to another great season allowing just four earned runs in 25 innings while striking out 18. His relatively quick recovery and solid relief performances to close the season should provide owners with some optimism heading into 2016. He will be 34 and coming off a season where he threw just 28 innings but he could provide excellent value where he's likely to be drafted and could end up being one of the better bargains of 2016 as he'll likely be the staff ace for the Cardinals unless they bring in a big-name via free agency.
Wainwright showed no signs of slowing down in his age-32 season, going 20-9 and posting career-best marks in ERA (2.38) and WHIP (1.03), while striking out 179 batters in 227 innings. Wainwright also threw five complete games, three of them shutouts (also a career high), on his way to finishing third in the Cy Young vote, marking his fourth top-three finish for the award. Owners shouldn't be overly concerned with Wainwright's age (33) heading into 2015, as he's only thrown 2,334.2 professional innings, which he started as an 18-year-old, compare that with Felix Hernandez (almost five years younger than Wainwright) who's thrown 2,367 innings since going pro at age 17. While age certainly factors in, Wainwright hasn't had the workload that most aces his age have had thus far in his career and he's a good bet to continue his dominant ways for at least the next year or two. Keep an eye on his health leading into Opening Day, as Wainwright had surgery to trim cartilage from his elbow at the end of last season, in addition to an abdominal strain that slowed him during the early weeks of spring training.
Wainwright was dominant again in 2013 as the ace on the Cardinals' staff, logging 241.2 innings for the National League champs and striking out 219 while throwing five complete games. Wainwright has five pitches, four of which he uses regularly and he gets his strikeouts by using those pitches well and hitting his spots, meaning he should continue to pitch well with age. His numbers have been incredibly consistent the past several seasons and there's no reason to think he won't be one of the games best pitchers again in 2014. As long as he's healthy, Wainwright should be a solid anchor on any fantasy staff.
Wainwright got off to a slow start coming back from his 2011 Tommy John surgery, but after the All-Star break he was pitching like the Wainwright of old. His second-half stats - 3.28 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 86:23 K:BB in 96 innings - should give you some indication of what to expect in 2013 now that he's back to full health. A return to the 20-win, 200-strikeout mountain is possible. He may have a couple more years as ace of the staff before Shelby Miller takes over.
A February Tommy John surgery robbed Wainwright of the entire 2011 season, but all signs in his recovery have been good and there were even some rumblings that he'd be available to pitch in the postseason. Fortunately, for the Cardinals and Wainwright, he wasn't needed. He's been a fantastic pitcher since he burst on the scene in 2006, and there's little doubt he'll eventually get back to where he once was, but he'll be a bit rusty early on. Don't pay for his 2009-2010 numbers.
Elbow stiffness late in the season was just about the only blip on Wainwright's excellent 2010 campaign. He was in the top five in the NL in wins, ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, innings pitched and quality starts. Expect more of the same from the 29-year-old in 2011: he's the ace of the staff, and his draft day cost has steadily remained behind the elite early-round aces.
Although Wainwright didn't win the Cy Young, he may have been the most consistent starter in the National League last year. At one point, he had 26 starts in a row of six or more innings pitched and he placed in the top four in all three Triple Crown categories. He has improved in each of his three years as a starter, and even with Chris Carpenter on the roster, he's the ace of the staff.
Despite a two-month interruption due to a finger injury, Wainwright was the St. Louis ace again in 2008. He only started 20 games, but he went 11-3 with a 3.20 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Even if Chris Carpenter returns to form this year, Wainwright will deservedly be at the top of the St. Louis rotation.
It’s been a strange road to the top of the St. Louis rotation for Wainwright. A top starting pitching prospect with Atlanta, Wainwright came to the St. Louis organization as part of the J.D. Drew trade in 2003. After suffering with two seasons of injuries and ineffectiveness in Triple-A, Wainwright got called up and was one of the best rookie relief pitchers in baseball in 2006, even saving the last game of the World Series. He moved back to starter in 2007 and initially struggled filling the shoes of the injured Chris Carpenter before coming into his own after the All-Star break.
Outside of Chris Carpenter, Wainwright was probably the most valuable Cardinals pitcher in 2006. He was practically unhittable over his first 12 appearances (one run and seven hits with a 15:3 K:BB in 16.2 IP), and wasn’t bad the rest of the way either. More importantly, he stepped in to close some key games down the stretch in the playoffs after Jason Isringhausen went down. As good as he was in relief, the Cardinals believe he can be a top-of-the-rotation starter. He should get an opportunity to join the Cardinals rotation, but if the Cardinals believe he’s better suited for the bullpen, he’ll be one of the more valuable non-closer relievers in the National League in 2007.
Wainwright was up-and-down at Triple-A last year. His final numbers were so-so, but he did end the year going 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA and 31 K in 26 IP before a September call-up. He's still one of the Cardinals' best prospects and will get a look in spring training, but Wainwright is most likely ticketed for another year at Triple-A.
Wainwright joined the Cardinals in the J.D. Drew trade and promptly improved the Cardinals minor-league pitching talent by a few grades. A slight tear in his elbow ligament shut him down after 12 unspectacular Triple-A outings in 2004. He was healthy enough to pitch in the Arizona Fall League but was 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA, walking nine in 10 innings. He has a live arm with a fastball in the 90s and a curveball that has fooled batters at the lower levels. It's a troublesome sign, however, that his hit and walk totals have gone up as his strikeout totals have gone down as he has advanced. He will need a healthy stint in Triple-A and a return to earlier form to carve his way into the rotation.
Wainwright was considered the best pitching prospect in the Atlanta system before being traded to St. Louis. While he wasn't overpowering at Double-A Greenville, he performed well-enough and a strong first half could see him called up in 2004.
The 2000 first-round draft pick had a solid year in high A, and will likely jump to AA. He's one of the strongest starting pitcher candidates in the Braves organization and could be a factor at the major-league level by 2004.
More Fantasy News
Lasts 3.1 innings
PSt. Louis Cardinals
October 2, 2020
Wainwright didn't factor in the decision in Game 2 of the NL Wild Card Round against the Padres after allowing two runs on six hits with three strikeouts and two walks over 3.1 innings.
ANALYSIS
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Slated for Game 2
PSt. Louis Cardinals
September 28, 2020
Wainwright will start Game 2 of the NL Wild Card Series on Thursday against the Padres, Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat reports.
ANALYSIS
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Takes tough loss Saturday
PSt. Louis Cardinals
September 27, 2020
Wainwright (5-3) allowed three runs on eight hits (two home runs) and a walk while striking out three across 6.2 innings Saturday as he was dealt the loss against the Brewers.
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Falls to 5-2
PSt. Louis Cardinals
September 21, 2020
Wainwright (5-2) allowed three runs on six hits and two walks over 5.2 innings Monday, striking out seven and taking the loss against Kansas City.
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Goes distance, improves to 5-1
PSt. Louis Cardinals
September 16, 2020
Wainwright (5-1) picked up the win while tossing a complete game (seven innings) in Game 1 of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Brewers, allowing two runs on four hits and one walk. He struck out nine.
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