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At 7:35 pm, our selection is on the Philadelphia Phillies over the Toronto Blue Jays. As a reliever, Phillies RH Vince Velasquez's season got off to a rough start. After three straight appearances out of the bullpen, the 28-year-old had posted a 9.00 ERA and had a 9:8 K:BB ratio. But Velasquez got a chance to start on April 23 and hasn't looked back. In four starts, Velasquez is 1-0 with a 3.20 ERA with 21 strikeouts and eight walks -- a far cry from those relief numbers. He tries to build on it today in start number five against the Jays -- a team against which he's had past success. In three career starts vs. Toronto, Velasquez is 2-0 with a 3.94 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 16 innings. This will be the first meeting between these two this season. However, the Phils took three of four when they met last September. The Jays' relief pitching has been pretty good, but their starting pitching ERA so far is 4.70, which is fourth-worst in the AL. Finally, consider that the Phils have been playing to the level of their competition lately as they are 7-0 in their last seven vs. winning teams. Take the Phillies in the underdog role tonight.
At 7:05 pm, our selection is on the New York Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees got thumped by the Rays last night in Tampa, 9-1. If there's a cure for the boys in pinstripes after a lopsided loss like that, it's likely a weekend series against the Orioles in Baltimore. The Yankees are 39-12 in the 51 meetings with the O's but even more impressive is their 21-6 record in the last 27 games here at Camden Yards. Making Baltimore's task even harder tonight is the fact that two-time Cy Young award winner RH Corey Kluber will get the start for the visitors. Sure, the now 35-year-old's skills have eroded from when he was considered among the top three starters in baseball, but Kluber still knows how to get young players out (and the Orioles lineup is loaded with young, inexperienced players). In eight career starts vs. Baltimore covering 56 innings, Kluber is 4-1 with a 2.73 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 6.8 K:BB ratio. Take the Yankees.
At 10:10 pm, our selection is on the San Diego Padres over the St. Louis Cardinals. Joe Musgrove has been a bit of an enigma so far this season. The 28-year-old RHP is in his first year in San Diego after being traded from the Pirates back in January. Despite some very dominant underlying statistics including a 3.00 ERA in seven starts with a 7.71 K:BB ratio -- and the fact that he threw the first no-hitter of the season in Texas back on April 9 -- Musgrove is just 2-4 in the W/L column. That wouldn't be unusual if it weren't for the fact that Musgrove plays for the Padres -- a team considered to have one of the best offensive lineups in the majors this year. Musgrove will try to even out that won-lost ledger a bit tonight with a start against the Cards. Although they have one of the best records in the NL, the Cards' schedule has been mostly vs. NL Central teams with some NL East clubs sprinkled in. The only West team St. Louis has faced so far is the Rockies, so this will be one of its first tests against a club with a winning record. Take the Padres. Good luck, as always...Al McMordie.
Al McMordie is the most honored technical handicapper in the country. Overall, in the last 28 years, Big Al has garnered 43 NUMBER ONE awards in football, basketball, baseball and hockey; 195 Top 5 finishes; and 368 Top 10 finishes. Al is a featured handicapper at the most prestigious gambling web sites, and was a panelist on The Winning Edge and Proline Television shows from 2001 through 2010. Additionally, in 2002, Big Al was featured in FHM Magazine, and he was featured in ESPN Magazine in 2010. Some highlights: In 2018, Big Al ranked #1 in NFL Net Wins, with a 72-48 record, as documented by The Sports Monitor. And from 2012, when he also ranked #1 in the NFL with a 76.7% record on his Late Phone Service (as documented by The Sports Monitor), through 2019, Big Al’s won 8 straight NFL seasons. In 2015, Al also finished #1 (of 1727 entrants) in the Westgate Casino NFL Mini-Contest, and #2 in NCAA Football in 2016 (at both The Sports Monitor and Handicappers Watchdog). In 2017, Al finished #1 in the NHL, and also ranked #1 in the NHL in 2014. In 2007, Big Al won the $100,000 World Series of Sports Handicapping, and also finished #1 in NCAA Basketball March Madness. In 2004, Al won the most prestigious handicapping contest in Las Vegas -- The Stardust Invitational. In 2000, Al was 157-114 in football, including 10-0 (100%) in the NFL Playoffs. Al has won 21 of his 28 football seasons. Another highlight of Al's career came in 1997, when Big Al was ranked #1 by SPORTS WATCH in NCAA Football/NFL Win Percentage, and #1 in NCAA Football Regular Season/Bowls by THE SPORTS MONITOR. Al has one of the best basketball records over the past 28 seasons (winning 20 of 28 seasons), and was ranked #1 in baseball for the 1996 and 2001 seasons. For consistency across all four sports, you can count on Al McMordie. Indeed, the Las Vegas Sporting News recognized Al in its December 17, 1996 issue, and wrote that: "[Al's] honesty, integrity, [and] skills...are obvious....We have been impressed by [his] uncanny ability to pick big underdogs that win the game straight-up....We've seen handicappers come and go, and get hot and cold, but no one has been as consistent over time as McMordie, and we strongly urge you to consider him as your handicapper." Besides being a champion handicapper, Al McMordie is a corporate attorney, and earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan. Al resides in Los Angeles, California.