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Systems still work in 60-game slate

Sixty baseball games, huh?

I can work with that. And with the three age-old MLB betting systems I’ve always employed during my time writing in the sports-betting industry may prove to be even more profitable than ever before considering the coronavirus-shortened season.

The “Magical Fourth,” the “Pitching Rematch,” and the “Virgin Pitcher.” I love all three with this year’s format. Let’s take a look...

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The Magical Fourth: This system calls for a team riding a three-game win streak to make it four in a row, provided that fourth game is at home. I mean, let’s be real, during this shortened season there is less chance of those fluke-playoff teams advancing to the postseason because the contenders will thrive during win streaks.

You may see the better teams reel off much longer streaks than four games, potentially as high as eight, nine or 10. We only need the fourth in this situation, and I anticipate it happening often.

The Pitching Rematch: This occurs when two teams play for a second time within 10-14 days and the same two pitchers from one of the previous meetings are back in the mound. The stipulation is the losing team’s starter must have been struck with the loss in the first meeting. The thought process there is obvious, as the setback is fresh in his mind, and he’s going to want revenge against his counterpart and the team that served the L.

It’ll be intriguing to see how rematches play out when the system play is on a visitor since there will be no fan bases. Sure, the angles of the park might give the home team an edge, but if the pitcher looking for revenge is at his best and pitching with authority, the lack of fans will diminish any momentum the home team might generally receive.

The Virgin Pitcher: This is a play on someone making his MLB-debut on the hill, his first-ever appearance.

We see some young guys get a taste of Major League action out of the bullpen, and eventually start after two or three appearances. But when a pitcher is making that first-ever walk to the mound as a pro, he’s more likely to demonstrate his most dominating stuff while the opposition has no true scouting report and may take a couple of rounds through the lineup to figure him out.

Plus, with fewer games to play we’ll see managers employing greater urgency with an aggressiveness approach toward their best relievers, in order to preserve stellar performances we might usually see wasted during the first half of the season, when managers are apt to letting starters ride things out. And because we can anticipate inning limitations with high-profile pitchers, not to mention no minor-league action this year, the debuts could be more often than you’d think.

Six names I wouldn’t be surprised to see surface this season are:

• MacKenzie Gore (LHP, San Diego) — He mixes up four pitches, including a mid-90s fastball, and isn’t afraid to go after hitters early in the count. He exudes confidence and could be a sleeper if the Padres find themselves in a division race.

• Spencer Howard (RHP, Philadelphia) — If they gave out a Most Improved Pitcher award to minor leaguers, Howard would have been a good nomination. He parlayed an impressive summer with an even better fall in Arizona. He’s already elite and just needs a chance to prove himself.

• Casey Mize (RHP, Detroit) — The former overall top draft pick has impeccable command and was expected to dominate in the minors this season. With three-plus pitches in his repertoire, he should arrive in Motown sooner than later.

• Nate Pearson (RHP, Toronto) — Impressive minor-league numbers in 2019 meant he was going to compete for a spot. Unfortunately, it never happened. Nevertheless, a devastating fastball that has topped the 100-mph mark should get him into the rotation.

• Sixto Sanchez (RHP, Miami) — Though he boasts three main pitches, including a filthy curveball and an above-average change, it’s the fastball that has come close to 100 that has the upper brass salivating.

• Forrest Whitley, (RHP, Houston) — His mid-90s heater highlights his arsenal, but it’s the off-speed junk that makes him dangerous. The extra time off certainly has helped shoulder issues heal, and he should be strong enough to debut at some point.