Blue Jays by the numbers: 22 stats that tell the story of 2015

Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

In honour of the Toronto Blue Jays' return to the postseason for the first time in 22 years – Game 1 of the ALDS is Thursday at home against the Texas Rangers – here are 22 stats that tell the story of how they got there.

• 93 – The Blue Jays's 93 wins are the franchise's most in the regular season since 1993. We all know how that season ended.

• 48 – They wouldn't have reached that lofty win total without their incredible second half surge, winning 48 of their final 71 games.

53 – The fans at Rogers Centre sure had plenty to cheer about this season, celebrating 53 home wins. Only the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers had more with 55.

13 – A huge reason Toronto won the AL East was their 13-6 head-to-head record against the New York Yankees.

11 – The Blue Jays ran off not one, but two 11-game winning streaks this season. The first was from June 2 through June 14 and the second from Aug. 2 to Aug. 13.

37 – No team in baseball had more blowout (by five or more runs) wins than Toronto's 37. That's not at all surprising considering how potent their lineup is.

• 891 – That lineup produced a major-league leading 891 runs.

232 – That lineup also produced a major-league best 232 home runs.

• 221 – And along with an improved pitching staff, the Blue Jays put up a run differential of +221, easily the best mark in the majors.

• 8.6 – We ran out of superlatives to describe Josh Donaldson's debut season with Toronto, so his 8.6 fWAR will have to do. Donaldson's great offensive production (.297/.371/.568, 41 home runs) paired with a sharp glove at third base, it's one of the best seasons in MLB over the last 10 years.

82 – It cost the Blue Jays $82 million to sign Russell Martin as a free agent on a five-year contract this past offseason. So far it's been money well spent. Martin ranked third among catchers in fWAR, hitting .240/.329/.458 with 22 home runs and provided stellar defence behind the plate.

5 – General manager Alex Anthopoulos made five trades the week of MLB's trade deadline, acquiring David Price, Troy Tulowitzki, Ben Revere, Mark Lowe, and LaTroy Hawkins.

9 – And boy, did David Price ever give the Blue Jays a lift at the top of the rotation. Price won nine of his 11 starts with Toronto and is the favourite to land the AL Cy Young award.

• 37 – After a bit of a rough start, Brett Cecil became untouchable out of the bullpen as the season wore on. The left-hander pitched 37 consecutive scoreless appearances starting June 21. During the streak Cecil allowed just two unearned runs.

• 68 – 20-year-old right-hander Roberto Osuna set a record for most appearances by a player younger than 21 in the history of baseball. With a 2.58 ERA and 20 saves, he pitched like a proven veteran.

• 22 – You've seen the highlights: centre fielder Kevin Pillar is a wizard in the outfield. He's fourth among outfielders in Defensive Runs Saved with 22. Not bad for a guy expected to be the team's fourth outfielder this season.

28 – Slated to the team's long man in the bullpen, Marco Estrada stepped into the rotation for an ineffective Daniel Norris in early May and hasn't looked back. Estrada made 28 starts and posted a 3.13 ERA.

4.4 – It's no surprise that R.A. Dickey's season turned around when he limited his walks. Dickey walked just 4.4% of the hitters he faced in the second half, and had a 2.80 ERA in 15 starts. In the first half, Dickey's BB% was 8.9%, and his ERA was 4.87 in 18 starts.

• 1.132 – It took a while for Edwin Encarnacion to get going, but when he found his groove he wasn't going to be stopped. Encarnacion's second half OPS was 1.132, smashing 21 home runs and 18 doubles in 61 games.

• 110 – Jose Bautista demonstrated his terrific batting eye once again, drawing an AL-best 107 walks. Making the stat even more impressive? He struck out just 106 times and showed off his power too, hitting 40 home runs.

4 – Marcus Stroman was supposed to be sidelined for the entire season when he tore his ACL during spring training. It was a huge and unexpected victory for Stroman to return. For him to make four starts in September and pick up four wins? Absurd. What a story.

22 – Here's another great story: The drought is finally over. The Blue Jays are back in the playoffs.

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Yahoo Canada Sports. Email him at or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr