State of the MLS Run In: 11 Weeks To Go

Who doesn't like this guy? Nobody. True story. - USA TODAY Sports

Starting to get a little separation as Colorado and New England start to slip out of playoff contention. But the Fire are rising up to keep it interesting.

Previous Edition

Two weeks since the last update and the biggest movers are Seattle and Chicago on the way up and New England and FC Dallas on the way down.

Playoff & Trophy Probabilities

This is each team's up to date odds of making the playoffs, earning a top 3 spot, winning the Supporter's Shield, earning a (US) CCL bid, and winning the MLS Cup based on simulating the remainder of the season 10,000 times. A fuller explanation of the methodology is available here.

Avg Pts Playoff % Diff Top 3 % MLS Cup % Shield % CCL %
Real Salt Lake W 57.1 97.9 +2.9 85.3 17.6 33.9 80.9
Portland W 54.3 91.3 -4.4 65.4 14.2 17.1 49.0
Sporting KC E 54.1 95.0 +2.3 75.2 13.6 11.3 46.6
New York E 53.7 92.3 +5.3 69.6 8.5 9.0 38.6
Seattle W 53.5 87.6 +29.1 56.4 9.8 10.8 37.4
Los Angeles W 52.7 85.1 +1.8 48.7 7.8 6.3 28.8
Philadelphia E 51.3 79.9 -3.2 45.8 7.5 2.8 25.2
Montreal E 50.9 74.4 -10.5 42.5 4.2 3.0 0.0
Vancouver W 50.7 68.3 +14.2 21.3 3.4 1.2 0.0
Houston E 50.3 72.3 +10.7 38.5 4.0 2.5 18.6
Colorado 47.7 38.4 -15.5 9.0 2.0 0.2 5.7
Chicago 47.2 41.6 +30.3 13.7 1.8 0.3 7.0
New England 46.9 41.6 -35.8 14.4 2.8 0.3 7.0
FC Dallas 46.6 27.2 -27.5 6.0 0.7 0.2 3.0
San Jose 42.1 4.1 -0.9 0.4 0.1 0.1 0.2
Columbus 39.7 2.9 +0.8 0.4 0.0 0.1 0.3
Toronto FC 32.6 0.1 +0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Chivas USA 29.7 0.0 -- 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
DC United 23.8 0.0 -- 0.0 0.0 0.0 50.3
Avg Pts for Playoffs (W) 49.8
Avg Pts for Playoffs (E) 48.9

The Sounders benefited from their own 2 wins as well as some favorable results elsewhere in the west to rocket up from a borderline playoff team to a near 90% chance to make the postseason. That comes largely at the expense of Colorado and FC Dallas. The Hoops are now winless in 10 in continuing their tumble from Supporters Shield leaders to playoff long-shots, though they did end their scoreless streak with a 3-goal outburst against LA. Unfortunately for them, it was matched by Landon Donovan's hat trick.

In the East, Chicago on are on Fire! Fiiire. Fi-re. Lo lo lo lo. . sorry, what was I saying? Oh yeah. They're still less than even odds to make the playoffs but that's a big jump from a few weeks ago. Their hope at this point is that Montreal continues their long Dallas-like fall from competitiveness. Beating them head to head last weekend certainly helped. For CCL spots, DC United continues their Cinderella campaign but otherwise the odds pretty much follow the order of the table.

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.

LA still has the easiest remaining schedule, with only 4 of their final 11 matches being on the road, so I'm still penciling them into a playoff spot no matter what the standings say right now. Colorado is dealing with some (possibly sizable) suspensions to go with the hardest remaining schedule in the league, which includes @LA, @KC, and @Portland. Over the next month they're either going to have some impressive victories to boast about or they'll be out of the playoff race.

Avg Team Points Matches Pts / Match
Los Angeles 17.027 11 1.548
New York 14.906 10 1.491
New England 16.212 11 1.474
Houston 17.217 12 1.435
Portland 16.862 12 1.405
Chivas USA 15.176 11 1.38
Montreal 16.456 12 1.371
DC United 15.079 11 1.371
Seattle 17.757 13 1.366
Columbus 14.947 11 1.359
Toronto FC 14.946 11 1.359
FC Dallas 14.846 11 1.35
Chicago 16.109 12 1.342
Real Salt Lake 13.373 10 1.337
Sporting KC 13.205 10 1.32
San Jose 13.145 10 1.314
Philadelphia 13.003 10 1.3
Vancouver 14.007 11 1.273
Colorado 11.23 9 1.248

Cascadia Cup Odds

Seattle was the biggest beneficiary of a match they didn't even play in, as Vancouver did them a solid by holding the Timbers to a draw in Jeld-Wen. That result moves the Sounders into a significant lead heading to their mammoth matchup with the Timbers in front of more than 65 thousand fans in two weeks. Just a preview, if Seattle wins that match their odds will move up to around 75% and Portland's drop to around 5%.

Odds
Seattle 55.8%
Portland 25.9%
Vancouver 18.3%
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