When teams play Thursday getaway day games after a night one on Wednesday, you often will see a few starters on each side get the game off – especially for the road team as it travels out after. That could be the case then Thursday when Oakland wraps up a trip to Minnesota. Oakland and Minnesota started off the series on Tuesday night, with a win from the Twins and face each other tonight again in Game 2 of the series. The A’s are likely to be slight road favorites in the MLB betting odds.
Oakland at Minnesota MLB Betting Prediction & Pick
— Oakland A’s ⚾️ (@Athletics) May 3, 2017
When: Thursday, May 4, 1:10 PM ET
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis
Probable pitchers (away/home): Jharel Cotton/Kyle Gibson
TV: MLB Network
Radio: Oakland / Minnesota
Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Why Bet On Oakland?
The A’s got back one of their big offseason signings Tuesday in outfielder Rajai Davis. He was signed this past offseason to a one-year, $6 million deal. Last year, Davis revived his career in his first season with Cleveland as he was one of the crucial players who helped get the Indians to the World Series. He led the American League with 43 steals. Davis became the fourth-oldest player to lead the league in steals after Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson in 1998 and Eddie Collins from 1923 and & Davis had the epic eighth-inning homer in Game 7 of the World Series off Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman. Davis was activated off the DL on Tuesday. He ended up missing the minimum with his left hamstring strain. The 36-year- old returns to a disappointing .214/.262/.375 batting line.
Oakland also is hoping to get some bullpen help from John Axford soon. Axford threw a 20-21 pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. He’ll have a similar workout Thursday. Axford has been out all season because of right shoulder discomfort, but an MRI taken in early April showed no major structural damage.
It’s promising young right-hander Jharel Cotton (2-3, 5.00) on the mound. He can be great one night and struggle the next. Cotton was tagged with six runs (three earned) over 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Astros on Friday. Cotton had a 3-0 lead before even throwing a pitch, but he gave it right back in the bottom of the first inning. The A’s grabbed the lead again in the third, but Cotton again failed to hold it through the middle innings. Cotton gave up 10 hits and walked one while striking out four. He has 19/12 K/BB ratio in 27 innings through five starts.
This will be Cotton’s first career start vs. the Twins. One Minnesota player has faced him: Jason Castro is 0-for- 2.
Why Bet On Minnesota?
Twins closer Glen Perkins (shoulder) threw another bullpen session on Tuesday at Target Field. Perkins is now three weeks into mound work and could soon be cleared for a minor-league rehab assignment. The veteran left-hander needed major surgery last year on his throwing shoulder. If all goes well from here on out, he could be ready for MLB action in early June.
Minnesota’s Miguel Sano was named AL Player of the Week for last week. He hit .524 (11-for- 21) with a double, three home runs, 11 RBI and four runs scored in five games. Among AL leaders, he finished first in RBI; tied for first in hits; second in batting average and total bases (21); tied for third in home runs; fourth in slugging percentage (1.000); tied for fifth in extra-base hits (4); and seventh in on-base percentage (.545). It’s Sano’s career Player of the Week Award. Sano has reached safely in 21 of 23 games played this season. Among AL players, he ranks second in walks (18), third in on-base percentage (.443), slugging percentage (.684) and OPS (1.127), tied for fourth in times on base (43) and 10th in batting average (.316).
The Twins went 2-4 against the Athletics last season, losing their first four and winning their final two. They were swept in three games in Oakland May 30-June 1 and won two of three at Target Field from July 4-6.
It’s Kyle Gibson (0-3, 8.06) on the mound for the Twins. Gibson surrendered three runs in 5 1/3 innings Friday in a no-decision versus the Royals. The good news is that the Twins went on to win. Gibson, though, hasn’t lasted six innings in any of his five starts this year.
Oakland at Minnesota MLB Betting Pick: Oakland A’s
Cotton at least has the potential to have a strong start, while Gibson has been one of the AL’s worst pitchers.