The theme of this week's edition is games in hand. The Galaxy look comfortable in their perch on top of the Western Conference, but it's really Kansas City who sit pretty with a full four games in hand on the defending champions. And in the East DC has been out in front seemingly all season, but New York has the better goal differential and the better points per game and is favored to finish ahead of United.
Playoff & Trophy Probabilities
This is each team's up to date odds of making the playoffs, earning a top 3 spot, winning the Supporters' 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 %||Change||Top-2 %||MLS Cup %||Shield %||CCL %|
|Real Salt Lake||38.7||3.7||-22.0||--||--||--||--|
|Avg Pts for Playoffs (W)||47.6|
|Avg Pts for Playoffs (E)||43.5|
No changes in the composition of the projected playoff field after two weeks, as the red line seems to be getting a little thicker. Seattle's newfound form with Obafemi Martins back and Portland's consistency means getting into the playoff race in the West is going to be an even taller order for Houston and San Jose. And in the East, Orlando looks to be in the thick of it as they're tied with the Impact for the last playoff spot, but they've played four more games than Montreal and anything but a Canadian collapse would likely leave Orlando out.
The biggest jump in playoff odds is Portland's. The Timbers have been one of the league's hottest teams over the past couple of months and have erased the early season form that looked like it'd make this a lost season. In the other direction, Real Salt Lake's season looks suddenly, brutally over. In the space of a few days they were kicked out of the US Open Cup and lost at home in injury time to turncoat Nat Borchers. Now they are trying to make up a six point gap on rising Seattle despite the worst goal differential in the West.
The Shield race is being led by the aforementioned teams with games in hand, and there's about a 2/3 chance it either returns to 2013 winners New York or goes to Kansas City, who've had some good recent seasons but haven't won the Shield since the days of the Wiz.
At the bottom end of the table, Philly still have something to play for. They host the US Open Cup final against Sporting, which gives them better than even odds to play in next season's CCL. Other CCL hopefuls hope that game goes to KC, who'd almost certainly get a spot anyway, leaving another CCL slot to trickle down the table.
Teams that have been eliminated by three decreasingly stringent standards. Read here for more details.
Last week we put Chicago on watch for our first team in projected elimination. But the brutally competitive West means it's Colorado that goes over that cliff first. Still, they're far from mathematically eliminated and could theoretically get up to 57 points if they win out, but come on.
- Mathematical Elimination (Unable to make the playoffs in any scenario)
- Effective Elimination (Unable to make 42 points even with perfect play)
- Projected Elimination (less than 2% chance of making the playoffs in simulation)
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.
Toronto still has the easiest schedule, with 8 of their remaining 11 games at home. Then comes Vancouver, with 6 of 9 at home and two of their three road games against non-playoff teams. The hardest schedule is FC Dallas', which may help Seattle clamber over them in the West standings. The second hardest is NYC's, as they still have @Galaxy, @DC, and @Vancouver on the schedule.
|Real Salt Lake||13.965||10||1.397|
Cascadia Cup Odds
No Cascadia action since the last update, but the Whitecaps' continued excellent play pushes their odds of retaining the Cup a little higher. In two weeks Seattle hosts Portland, and if the Sounders win they'd only need a draw in the final Cascadia matchup in Vancouver.