Fantasy Baseball: Should You Add Joe Blanton?

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IJuly 5, 2012

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 25: Starting pitcher Joe Blanton #56 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch during a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park on June 25, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Phillies right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton is 7-7 on the year with a 4.85 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, and 89 strikeouts in 104.0 innings (7.7 K/9). He has ramped it up lately and is worth considering in fantasy leagues.

In his past four starts, Blanton is 2-1 with a 3.41 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP and 28 strikeouts in 29 innings (8.7 K/9). Blanton has at least six strikeouts in each of past six starts.

Blanton has been a situational fantasy option. He is much better at home (4-2, 4.47 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) than on the road (3-5, 5.23 ERA, 1.35 WHIP). Blanton has also been much better in day games despite his 1-3 record (3.67 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) than night games despite a 6-4 record (5.26 ERA, 1.30 WHIP).

Blanton should not experience much a regression. His strand rate (67.7 percent) is actually down from last year’s 70.9 and career 70.8 marks. His BABIP of .303 is right in line with his .299 lifetime mark. His strikeout ratio has improved, but that isn’t surprising considering the pitching staff he has had to learn from the past few years.

Blanton is owned in less than 20 percent of Yahoo! and a little over 10 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues. If you are looking for a boost in strikeouts and can absorb a slight ERA hit, Blanton could be a decent option. The good news is that while his ERA runs a little high, his WHIP is tolerable thanks to his walks being at an all-time low (1.3 BB/9 compared to a 2.4 lifetime mark).

He gives up too many long balls, but he has some use in fantasy circles. If nothing else, stream him for home games that are day starts or use him in NL-Only leagues.

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