Projecting the final standings: One Fourth Edition

Now that the Timbers have completed about a quarter of the season, well as close to a quarter as you can get with 34 games, I wanted to put together a projection of the final standings. Of course these standings will be skewed either high or low depending on the starts each team has had. Despite this it still is interesting to see some of the projected final points teams will have.

A quick note on my really simple methods: I take the points calculate points per game for home and away by dividing their points by the number of games. I then take those and calculate how many points they will gain if they continue earning points at the same pace at home and away. Really simple and easy to do and if any of you want to come up with a more complicated way I am all ears (I just don't have the time currently to do so).

More after the Jump

Lets take a quick look at the Eastern Conference just for the heck of it.

Eastern Conference Current Standings:

Club

PTS

GP

W

L

T

Sporting Kansas City

21

8

7

1

0

D.C. United

12

8

3

2

3

New York Red Bulls

10

7

3

3

1

Chicago Fire

8

5

2

1

2

Houston Dynamo

8

5

2

1

2

Philadelphia Union

7

6

2

3

1

Columbus Crew

7

6

2

3

1

New England Revolution

6

6

2

4

0

Montreal Impact

5

8

1

5

2

Toronto FC

0

6

0

6

0

Eastern Conference Projected standings:

Club

PTS

Home GP

Home pts

HPPG

Away GP

Away Pts

APPG

Projected

Sporting Kansas City

21

4

12

3

4

9

2.250

89

D.C. United

12

5

8

1.6

3

4

1.333

50

New York Red Bulls

10

3

7

2.3333333

4

3

0.750

52

Chicago Fire

8

2

4

2

3

4

1.333

57

Houston Dynamo

8

0

0

0

5

8

1.600

27

Philadelphia Union

7

3

4

1.3333333

3

3

1.000

40

Columbus Crew

7

3

4

1.3333333

3

3

1.000

40

New England Revolution

6

2

3

1.5

4

3

0.750

38

Montreal Impact

5

2

4

2

6

1

0.167

37

Toronto FC

0

4

0

0

2

0

0.000

0

Quick Analysis:

As you can see Toronto is projected as getting 0 points because of the fact they have not won a game yet this year. I highly doubt this will continue and the half-way point projections will probably be more accurate for them. Houston is the other outlier as they have yet to play a home game because of their new stadium is not yet finished. Even with all of their games being away this year 27 points on the road is a great projection. SKC will have to be MLS' best team ever to continue their torrid pace and hit 89 points.

With the changes to the playoffs this year the Eastern Conference standings do not have any bearing on who makes it from the Western Conference. So let's take a look at what we really care about.

Western Conference Current Standings:

#

Club

PTS

GP

W

L

T

1

San Jose Earthquakes

16

7

5

1

1

2

Real Salt Lake

16

9

5

3

1

3

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

11

7

3

2

2

4

FC Dallas

11

8

3

3

2

5

Seattle Sounders FC

10

5

3

1

1

6

LA Galaxy

9

6

3

3

0

7

Chivas USA

9

7

3

4

0

8

Colorado Rapids

9

7

3

4

0

9

Portland Timbers

7

7

2

4

1

Western Conference Projected Standings:

Club

PTS

HG

Home Pts

HPPG

AG

Away Pts

APPG

Projected

San Jose Earthquakes

16

4

9

2.25

3

7

2.3333333

78

Real Salt Lake

16

4

9

2.25

5

7

1.4

62

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

11

4

7

1.75

3

4

1.3333333

52

FC Dallas

11

5

11

2.2

3

0

0

37

Seattle Sounders FC

10

4

9

2.25

1

1

1

55

LA Galaxy

9

4

6

1.5

2

3

1.5

51

Chivas USA

9

4

0

0

3

9

3

51

Colorado Rapids

9

3

6

2

4

3

0.75

47

Portland Timbers

7

4

6

1.5

3

1

0.3333333

31

Quick Analysis:

As you can see San Jose and RSL are currently the cream of the crop in the West but can San Jose keep up their winning ways on the road. 2.33 points per game on the road puts SJ in historically great territory and I don't think they are that good and we should see them come down to earth over the next 6-8 games. Chivas has not won at home but is projected to win all their road games and earn 51 points on the road, which is not going to happen.

As you can Portland is projected to be dead last in the west but this can change if they start earning points on the road and defend their home field. Portland will need to get the away PPM up to about 1 to 1.5 and their home PPM up to 2 to 2.5 in order for the playoffs to be even a consideration. Overall it is not doom and gloom for the Timbers but they have their work cut out for them.

My best guess as to the points cut off for the Playoffs will be right around 45 points, last year it was 46 points, but in order to be sure a team should shoot for 50 points. This means Portland needs to earn 43 points over their next 27 games or 1.58 points per game. Certainly a possibility but they will need to kick start that with a win tomorrow over the Expansion Montreal Impact.

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