Please check out the Projections Primer, to see how I come about getting these projections.
Prior to getting started, I want to take a look at the last three years of Adam Wainwright's career and his total career numbers, showing the statistics that I utilize in my projections.
The 2020 season is our most recent sample size and professional sports are often reduced to a "what have you done for me lately" business. Here is his 2020 season (majors only) separated from the rest 1) to highlight it and 2) to more easily come back to it for comparison purposes.
10 starts, 65 2/3 innings, 6.567 IP/GS 3.15 ERA, 4.11 FIP, 1.051 WHIP 7.401 K/9, 2.056 BB/9, 3.60 K:BB 6-4 team record in his starts
This year, I plan to incorporate a couple of (I hope) interesting items to go along with the mean (average) projection. I am going to be adding in "THE GOOD" (an everything goes right)" projection and "THE BAD” (an everything went wrong)" projection prior to giving THE CERUTTI (my actual projection). THE GOOD is basically if a player is 10% better in a few of the listed categories while THE BAD is basically if a player is 10% worse in a few of the listed categories - based on THE CERUTTI projection, which is my 50th percentile-type projection that gets made every year by other projection services like STEAMER or ZiPS.
27 starts, 166 2/3 innings, 6.178 IP/GS 3.40 ERA, 3.56 FIP, 1.191 WHIP 8.803 K/9, 2.674 BB/9, 2.993 K:BB
This would be Adam Wainwright getting his career line basically. This would be exceptional for 2021, despite it being a step back from 2020 - albeit in a short season.
27 starts, 137 2/3 innings, 5.106 IP/GS 4.12 ERA, 4.40 FIP, 1.441 WHIP 7.275 K/9, 3.236 BB/9, 2.473 K:BB
This would be Wainwright basically reverting back to 2019 form two years later - but throwing less deep into games in the process. Not what I would like to see, for sure.
(my system projection)
27 starts, 151 2/3 innings, 5.616 IP/GS 3.74 ERA, 3.97 FIP, 1.310 WHIP 8.003 K/9, 2.942 BB/9, 2.72 K:BB
If all of my projections come true, I foresee the Cardinals going 15-12 in his starts.
I could definitely see Wainwright putting together something around THE CERUTTI this year and the Cardinals banding together to win 15 of 27 games he starts, if they were to do so. I would not at all be surprised to see Wainwright go deeper into games than just under 5 2/3 innings per start and if he announces 2021 is it, I wouldn't be surprised if he goes closer to 33-35 starts and 6 innings a start - because he's not gonna hold back for anything if he knows it's his last year.
Link back to all of my projections (this will not be updated until approximately Friday, March 5th).