Frederick Alfred Porcello III vs. Gerrit Cole. Here's a fun fact. Cole is married to Amy Crawford, who played softball at UCLA (my alma mater, so a soft spot exists!). Crawford's brother is Brandon Crawford, the Giant's shortstop. Small world. Partly cloudy at game time, temperatures in the high 60's. Getting on to baseball weather. We won't have to see Jose Altuve, but here's some Asters facts: The Asters lead the majors with a .282 team batting average. The Twins are second at .262 and the league average is .244. The Asters lead the majors with a .354 on-base percentage. The Cubs are second at .346 and the league average is .319. The Asters lead the majors with a .512 slugging percentage. The Twins are second at .495 and third place is the Mariners at .462. The league average? .418. The Marlins are in last at a pitiful .307. The team OPS+ for the Asters is 131, which is better than that of Justin Turner Paul Goldschmidt, Ronald Acuna, Manny Machado, Bryce Harper and a host of other studs. In addition, they own the best record in baseball at 29-15, have the best run differential by a mile (plus-87, with the next best being plus-62) and have the longest current winning streak at eight games. As far as the pitching goes, they are sitting with the second-best ERA in the AL heading into Thursday. Suffice to say this team is awesome. So on paper, it doesn't look great. However, you don't play the game on paper, so let's win the damned thing. Finally, today is the birthday of Sox-for-a-minute Carlos Pena, and actor/ director/ photographerDennis Hopper. I leave you with this, to get you ready for the game.