ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays have battled through a staggering string of injuries, a revolving door of roster moves, an adjustment to unusual pitching usage philosophies and a series of extreme highs and lows to get to this point.And now we'll really see what they're all about.Forty-eight games to play, starting with a treacherous 10-game road trip to Texas, Houston and Oakland that begins tonight in the Arlington broil.Though the Rays are only two games on the winning side, at 58-56, and had to rally just to get there, the playoffs are not out of the conversation, much less the question.An American League wild-card spot is certainly within their grasp, as they woke up Thursday a mere 1½ games behind the Angels, and an East division title is not out of sight, assuming the red-hot Blue Jays — who moved past the Yankees on Wednesday and are 4½ up on the Rays — actually lose a few games.Do they have a shot? And not just to play "meaningful games in September," as their bosses like to say, but games that could actually mean something to get them into the October tournament?The math isn't prohibitive to figure it out so.If 88 wins is the "magic" number, as some forecasts suggest, they'd need to go 30-18, a .625 clip. At 85, a more reasonable 27-21 (.563). Of the 48 games, 28 are against teams currently over .500, including six each with the Yankees and Blue Jays, providing a chance to take matters into their own hands.The computers seem to at least suggest so.Fangraphs.com projects the Rays' odds of making the playoffs at 20.7, essentially mirroring the standings, behind the division-leading Jays (92.3), Royals (99.6), Astros (82.9), and wild-card leading Yankees (84.7) and Angels (57).And the Rays players certainly think so."The belief hasn't gone away," third baseman Evan Longoria said. "We've always believed, and we definitely feel like we have the players, the components, the tools in here to make a run. So we just have to keep that rolling right now."Obviously, it's going to take a team effort.The starters, who have done so much to keep them in so many games, ranking second best in the AL with a 3.50 ERA, have to be as good, or better. Maybe all those sixth, seventh and eighth innings they didn't work earlier this season will keep them fresh.One key will be manipulating the schedule around the remaining off days to maximize the matchups.That should start with making the most of All-Star ace Chris Archer's 10 remaining starts. With only some slight adjusting, they can have him make eight against teams they are battling, including two vs. the Yankees (against whom he is 5-0, 1.78) and two vs. the Jays (5-2., 2.51)One question will be how much Drew Smyly helps, or hurts.The Rays are, for now, counting on him to come back from three-plus months on the DL with shoulder issues and step right into a playoff race. But Smyly's rehab starts were not particularly efficient, and the Rays can't afford another Matt Moore situation, with the double trouble of being put in an early hole and having to tax their bullpen.One wild card will be prospect Blake Snell.The 22-year-old lefty has made a remarkable climb from Class A to Triple A, dominating at each level with an 11-4, 1.24 overall record, and could be a late-season weapon like David Price and Moore were, either starting or relieving.Similar to the starters, the relievers are going to need to be as good or better down the stretch.That assumes the heavy usage — an AL-high 376 innings, and many high-leverage — hasn't worn them down, specifically Brad Boxberger, who, while ranking second in the AL with 29 saves, has been battling command issues, and Jake McGee.And that they can continue to adjust to the trade of Kevin Jepsen — to the Twins, no less, against whom they are competing for a wild-card spot — to handle those tough seventh-inning situations.That burden has fallen mainly on rookie Steve Geltz and unsung lefty Xavier Cedeno, though Alex Colome, transitioning better to the bullpen by limiting his repertoire and throwing with more conviction, is likely to get more responsibility.Though there have been the occasional Little League moments, the defense has been, and will continue to be, a strength. The infield is among the tidiest in the game. The outfield, with Kevin Kiermaier playing center and half of left and right, covers as much ground as any team. And the catchers have limited opponents from running.Which brings us back to the offense as the biggest determining factor of their fate.So bad for such a long stretch, the bats have been a big reason for their recent surge. The switch to a more aggressive approach and resulting boost in confidence, plus a few key players (led by Asdrubal Cabrera) getting hot, have made them one of the majors' most offensive teams over the last 2½ weeks. Yep, the Rays are tops in slugging percentage (.503), second in average (.289), fourth in home runs (24), ninth in runs (78 in 15 games an average of 5.2 per, compared to 3.53 in the previous 99).But with things going about as good as can be, they are about to change the dynamics of the lineup. Desmond Jennings is coming off the DL for his first action since April, and, after an initial break-in period, will play regularly, taking at-bats from Brandon Guyer and either Grady Sizemore or Daniel Nava.In theory, Jennings will add speed and an impact bat, part of the front office's justification for not getting another hitter. In reality, we'll see how that works out.With all the Rays have been through, and whatever disappointment there was over the trade deadline dealings, they have shown a resolve, and a resiliency, coming back three times in the last four games alone from early three-run deficits. And a confidence in the clubhouse that they can pull this off."Without a doubt," manager Kevin Cash said. "Without a doubt." Contact Marc Topkin at email@example.com . Follow @TBTimes_Rays .