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Jul 19, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher George Kontos (70) hangs onto the ball after tagging out Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) during the eighth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

National League Evening Preview

Tonight is a busy night for the National League in the MLB. Starting with the number one team in the Eastern Division of the National League the Washington Nationals are taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight at 7:05 PM.

Although the Nationals last game resulted in a loss against the Dodgers yesterday 4-8, they’re still leading the Eastern Division by five games as they’re record for the season is 56-38.

In Washington tonight Bud Norris will be on the mound for the Dodgers and Gio Gonzalez will be on the mound for the Nationals. Norris has started three games for the Dodgers since he was traded from Atlanta. He has posted an ERA of 3.94 and 18 strikeouts in 16 innings.

Another key for the Dodgers will be outfielder Howie Kendrick. His single in the first inning of Tuesday’s game stretched his hitting streak to 11 games, which is the longest active streak in the majors.

Gonzalez has had two solid starts after having some tough ones in June. He allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings against the New York Mets in July, this was his first time allowing less their three runs since mid may.

Behind the Nationals, in the East Division of the National league is the Miami Marlins. The Fish have 51 wins and 42 losses underneath their belt and are coming off of a win over the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1. They face the Phillies again tonight at 7:05 p.m. The Marlins plan to have Wei-Yin Chen on the mound while Philadelphia plan on having right hand pitcher Jeremy Hellickson start.

In the Central Division the Chicago Cubs are on top. They currently have 56 wins and 37 losses. They are coming off of a loss against the New York Mets Tuesday night, 2-1. They continue their series Wednesday afternoon in Chicago.

For the Cubs, Kyle Hendricks was the starting pitcher. Hendricks is 4-0 with an .87 ERA, and is the only qualified pitcher in baseball with a sub-one ERA over the past calendar month. He will need to keep this up against the Mets’ Bartolo Colon who will be on the mound for them. Colon is a National League All-Star who is 5-1 with a 2.56 ERA since May 23.  At last look Anthony Rizzo hit two home runs in the game, a two-run blast. The Cubs have a 5-0 lead in the 5th inning.

Behind the Cubs in their division is the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals are 48-44 this season and are coming off of a win over the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

The Cardinals and Padres are in a day-night doubleheader due to the weather postponing the game on Tuesday night where there was heavy rain, high wind and lightning. Today the St. Louis Cardinals have RHP Carlos Martinez for Game 1. Martinez struck out 11 batters for the first time since June of 2015 in his last start before the All-Star break. He’s also allowed six total runs over his last six starts with a 1.34 ERA. On the mound for the Padres is Colin Rea. At last look the Cardinals led 4-2 and are full of home runs today. They’ve hit a home run in 10 straight games and have hit 3 today.

In the Western division, the San Fransisco Giants are 57-37 which is the best record in the National League. They’re coming off of a shutout loss against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park 4-0.

The Giants face the Red Sox again tonight at 7:10 p.m. The Giants have Matt Cain on the mound while Boston has Drew Pomeranz pitching. This will be an interesting start because this is Pomeranz’s new first start with the Red Sox after being traded from the Padres last Thursday.

Giants right hander Matt Cain is starting for the first time since June 13. He has spent a lot of his time this season injured with a right hamstring strain.

Second in the Western division is the LA Dodgers. The Dodgers are 53-42 this season. They face the Washington nationals tonight at 7:05 in DC and you can hear the game on ESPN Gainesville WRUF with coverage starting at 6 p.m.

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