Considering where the Toronto Blue Jays were just over a couple months ago, where they find themselves today is nothing short of remarkable. The Blue Jays enter Game 1 of their ALDS against the Texas Rangers on Thursday as the betting favorite to win the World Series . They certainly have all the attributes of a team that will be a tough out in October. Their offense, led by American League MVP front-runner Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, is the best in baseball. Perennial Cy Young candidate David Price leads the rotation, a rotation made better by having Marcus Stroman around, who has looked tremendous since making his borderline-miraculous return from an ACL injury that was supposed to keep him out the entire season. [ ALDS preview: Blue Jays, Rangers clash in battle of booming offenses ] There’s so much to like about the Blue Jays that it’s hard to believe it wasn’t too long ago that it look liked 2015 was going to be another wasted year. On July 26, Toronto lost an extra innings game in Seattle to drop to 50-50. That put them 6 ½ games out of first place in the AL East and three games out of a wild-card spot. Even with their star-studded lineup and terrific run differential, thoughts of making the playoffs were beginning to fade. From TSN.ca : “Time’s not on our side, man,” said manager John Gibbons. “We’re chasing some pretty good teams.” Then, after a pause, Gibbons offered a thought open to interpretation. “The baseball gods, they remind you sometimes in this business,” he said. Then, just like that, everything changed. The next day general manager Alex Anthopoulos pulled off a stunning trade with the Colorado Rockies for Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins. Three days later, he raised the stakes even higher, going out and getting Price from Detroit. Anthopoulos wasn’t done. The next day – trade deadline day – he acquired Ben Revere and Mark Lowe in separate deals. With an ace, an All-Star shortstop, a solid outfielder, and two dependable bullpen arms on board, the Blue Jays took off. Toronto went 43-19 over their final 62 games to finish the regular season with 93 wins, the most wins ever for a team that was .500 or worse after 100 games .
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