On Saturday, Blanton allowed two earned runs on three hits with six strikeouts through seven innings. The win was only his second of the year but this marks six quality starts out of his last seven. He has now allowed just 18 earned runs in his last 46.4 innings while amassing an impressive 46 strikeouts in that span of seven starts. He now has a 3.67 ERA in June, lowering his ERA to 5.07 on the year.
It was a rough start to the season as he went 0-4 with a 7.09 ERA and only 13 strikeouts in five April starts. He got a little better in May with four quality starts out of six, but still wasn’t too dominant with a 5.11 ERA in the month.
Blanton’s 1.53 WHIP still leaves a lot to be desire, but his 18.3 K-rate adds to his value. He is striking out a solid 7.44 per nine innings, and his swinging strike percentage currently sits at a career high of 10. Some of this can be credited to Blanton’s increased use of his changeup, which he is throwing 27.7 percent of the time; up from 17.1 percent last season. He has decreased the use of his sinker, slider and curveball and is also showing a bit more confidence in his fastball than he did in the past two seasons, throwing it 32 percent of the time thus far.
The veteran is a much safer matchup play, and he may be better left on the bench in his next start against the St. Louis Cardinals. Nonetheless, Blanton is owned in only 7 percent of ESPN leagues and can help get you quality starts and strikeouts when the matchup is right.