Watch these setup guys down stretch
Astros reliever Octavio Dotel is one of the top five setup guys to watch in the race for October.
Managers in a pennant race and in the postseason are more apt to go to the bullpen more quickly to get the matchups they want. In the regular season, managers tend to give starters more rope when they get in trouble. But in September and October, they'll use a quicker hook. Unless a team's ace is on the mound, a skipper will call for a fresh arm out of the bullpen.
This is especially true in September with the expanded rosters (remember Francisco Rodriguez with the Angels last year?). It seems that every club brings up a lefty from the minors for situational use. So expect to see early maneuvering with righty-righty and lefty-lefty matchups. With that in mind, here are the top five setup guys (or setup committees) to watch in the race for the postseason (listed in alphabetical order by team):
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