2022 Player Outlook
Wainwright isn't getting any younger but he continues to get batters out. He's limited the walks over the last two years, and while the whiffs are few and far between, Wainwright benefits from his legendary curveball, keeping the ball on the ground, and drastic improvement with his sinker in 2021. From 2018-2020, his sinker had a cumulative run value of 10, per Baseball Savant, which is bad, but in 2021, it was -15, which is great. That pitch resulted in a .175 batting average and 50.3 percent ground ball rate. From a statistical perspective, Wainwright posted a 17-7 record with a 3.05 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 174 strikeouts across 206.1 innings of work. From 2016-2019, Wainwright's best ERA in a season was posted in 2019 (4.19). Now, all of a sudden, Wainwright has turned back the dial and is pitching like vintage Wainwright! Wainwright has never won with elite velocity, so pitching into his 40s hasn't affected him as much as it would others. His sinker was exceptional last year and his track record with that pitch indicates some regression with that pitch in particular. However, he isn't not going to be the flashiest pick, but he's got a great defense behind him, his good buddy behind the plate, and should be efficient and effective in 2022. He'd be a great leveler for your fantasy rotation and should be able to add some stability if you pack the front-end of your rotation with a lot of upside/risk.