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.
MLS play got back into the full swing of things last week after the international break, and it was a week that had a dramatic impact on the state of the league. One of the subtleties of using a simulation to determine probabilities is that some results matter more than others. If a team is very likely to win a game then their average result in a simulation will be quite high — sometimes over 2 points. And if that team then goes on to actually win the game then the difference between reality and our prediction is less than a point, so it doesn't move the needle on the probabilities much. But if a team is very favored to win a game (like say FC Dallas vs New England) then the difference between prediction and reality is over 2 points and can have a much bigger impact on the results. In a week where multiple seemingly unlikely outcomes occur, there can be big shifts in the predictions. This week saw Real Salt Lake beat the Seattle Sounders in Seattle, FC Dallas lose to New England, and the New York Red Bulls get held to a draw at home by the Vancouver Whitecaps. The first means that the Supporter's Shield race is all but done. The first two combine to put Real Salt Lake in the driver's seat for the 3rd position in the Western Conference. And the last changes the picture in the Eastern Conference and the bottom of the wild card standings.
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
|MLS Cup %|
|Real Salt Lake||3.02||56.69||100.0||+0.10||5.68||11.02|
|Avg Pts for Playoffs||43.24|
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)
Effective Elimination (Unable to make 40 points even with perfect play)
Projected Elimination (less than 1% chance of making the playoffs in simulation)
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|
|Real Salt Lake||10.451||8||1.306|
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).
|Real Salt Lake||45.7%|
Cascadia Cup Odds
This is the % chance for each of the Cascadia teams of winning the rivalry cup.