MLB Thursday best bets: White Sox to best Athletics in Oakland

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Thursday is a rather light day in the majors as just seven games are scheduled, and only four are night affairs.

Let's look at where the value lies with two bets for the day's action.

Twins (+120) @ Yankees (-140)

The Yankees have righted the ship a little bit, piling up three straight wins against the Twins. However, I like Minnesota to rebound and close the series with a win.

Sonny Gray enters this game in fine form, posting a 3.10 ERA and 3.40 FIP over the last month. He's struck out nearly nine batters per nine innings, induced a lot of ground balls, and done a good job not giving up home runs.

The Yankees are as reliant as anybody on the long ball, so Gray's ability to limit those opportunities should be beneficial in this contest.

It's also worth noting that New York is struggling mightily at the dish, at least against righties. It ranks 27th in wOBA versus right-handed pitching over the last three weeks and is below teams like the Miami Marlins and Oakland Athletics in hard-hit percentage.

With the Yankees floundering at the dish and Gray pitching well, the Twins shouldn't have to score a ton to grind out a win.

I don't expect Minnesota to pile up the runs against Nestor Cortes, but there's reason to believe it can do enough damage to get a result.

Cortes' FIP is 0.72 runs higher than his ERA over the last 30 days, and he's conceding a ton of fly balls. That's not ideal when playing at Yankee Stadium, a reasonably hitter-friendly park.

The Twins have also enjoyed some success against Cortes in the past, generating seven hits, four runs, and a pair of homers in four innings against him the last time they met.

If Minnesota can get three or four more against Cortes this time around, it should be well on its way to a win.

Bet: Twins (+120)

White Sox (-200) @ Athletics (+170)

The White Sox have edges all over the place in this game.

We'll start with pitching. Chicago will be trotting out ace Dylan Cease. He's pitched magnificently well this season, posting a 2.14 ERA across 156 innings while striking out just under 200 batters.

Cease doesn't give up much hard contact or allow many free passes, and he's also excellent at keeping the ball inside the park. Playing in a pitching-friendly environment like the one in Oakland should only make life more difficult for opposing hitters.

Making matters worse for the Athletics is the fact they can't hit righties a lick at home. Oakland ranks dead last in wOBA and ISO since the beginning of August. A date with a pitcher of Cease's caliber won't help matters.

While J.P. Sears has played well for the Athletics, the White Sox are a much better bet to generate runs in this game. Chicago has hit lefties very well lately, sitting 10th in wOBA since Aug. 1.

Sears isn't immune to hard contact, and his FIP is 1.17 runs higher than his ERA over the last 30 days, suggesting regression could be coming.

The White Sox picked up a 4-1 win when Cease started against the Athletics earlier this year. I expect a similar result this time.

Bet: White Sox -1.5 (-110)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.