State of the MLS Run In: 7 Weeks To Go

As the regular season winds down I'm going to be posting a weekly summary of the some of the data and predictions we're generating, which should give you some context going into each week of games.

Previous Week

A very light week this time as the international break was actually observed by MLS and left only two games on the docket. But those games weren't without consequence. All four participants are jockeying for critical playoff position and the match between Sporting Kansas City and the Los Angeles Galaxy was an important one in the Supporters Shield race. It turned out the 2-2 draw was effectively a push as the Galaxy's Shield chances dropped by only 1%. If Kansas City had won (if, say, Aurelien Collin's goal hadn't been called back as offside), LA's Shield chance would be down to 68% (with Seattle at 21%). If LA had won (if, say, Frankie Hejduk hadn't gifted the Sporks with a handball in the penalty area in the final minutes), their Shield odds would be up to 88% and Seattle would be on the brink.

Playoff & Trophy Probabilities

This is each team's up to date odds of making the playoffs, winning the Supporter's Shield, and winning the MLS Cup based on simulating the remainder of the season 10000 times.

  Avg Pos Avg Points Playoff % Change Supporters
Shield %
MLS Cup %
Los Angeles 1.31 63.75 100.0 -- 76.26 21.16
Seattle 2.39 59.35 100.0 -- 16.97 12.96
FC Dallas 3.34 56.93 100.0 -- 3.72 10.74
Real Salt Lake 4.11 54.51 99.90 +0.69 2.79 8.34
Columbus 5.65 51.80 98.8 -0.26 0.23 12.17
Colorado 6.57 49.76 97.76 +0.22 0.02 5.01
Kansas City 7.68 47.64 88.77 -0.88 0.0 8.96
Philadelphia 8.16 46.85 83.07 -3.82 0.01 7.17
DC United 9.24 45.45 66.78 +0.45 0.0 6.49
New York 9.75 44.16 61.24 +0.89 0.0 3.60
Houston 10.43 43.49 49.42 +0.34 0.0 2.05
Portland 11.74 41.66 25.92 +2.01 0.0 0.35
Chivas USA 11.99 40.52 21.60 +0.54 0.0 0.75
Chicago 13.54 37.76 6.17 -0.02 0.0 0.0
San Jose 15.13 34.60 0.77 -0.13 0.0 0.0
New England 16.13 32.18 0.05 -0.02 0.0 0.0
Toronto FC 16.81 30.88 0.0 -- 0.0 0.0
Vancouver 17.04 29.73 0.0 -- 0.0 0.0
Avg Pts for Playoffs 43.70

Teams Eliminated

Teams that have been eliminated by three decreasingly stringent standards. Read here for more details.

  • Mathematical Elimination (Unable to make the playoffs in any scenario)
    None
  • Effective Elimination (Unable to make 40 points even with perfect play)
    None
  • Projected Elimination (less than 1% chance of making the playoffs in simulation)
    San Jose, New England, Toronto FC, Vancouver

Remaining Strength of Schedule

Using the same simulation, we can also determine remaining schedule strength by seeing how a league average team would do with each team's remaining schedule. Teams at the top have schedules against which an average team got the most PPG, meaning we think they have the easiest remaining schedule.

  Avg Team Points Matches Pts / Match
Seattle 10.362 7 1.48
New York 11.796 8 1.475
FC Dallas 10.231 7 1.462
Philadelphia 12.935 9 1.437
Kansas City 10.053 7 1.436
Columbus 11.21 8 1.401
Colorado 8.395 6 1.399
Los Angeles 9.736 7 1.391
DC United 13.804 10 1.38
New England 10.987 8 1.373
Portland 10.912 8 1.364
Toronto FC 8.179 6 1.363
Chivas USA 9.519 7 1.36
Chicago 10.875 8 1.359
Vancouver 10.788 8 1.348
San Jose 10.196 8 1.275
Real Salt Lake 11.439 9 1.271
Houston 8.851 7 1.264

Seattle's First Round Opponent

This is the likelihood of each team being the first playoff opponent for Seattle (either in the preliminary round or — more likely — in the Conference Semifinals).

  Matchup %
FC Dallas 44.2%
Real Salt Lake 22.5%
Colorado 10.4%
Los Angeles 4.7%
New York 3.0%
Houston 2.8%
Kansas City 2.5%
DC United 2.5%
Chivas USA 2.2%
Philadelphia 2.1%
Portland 2.1%

Cascadia Cup Odds

This is the % chance for each of the Cascadia teams of winning the rivalry cup.

  Odds
Seattle 65.22
Portland 19.08
Vancouver 15.70
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