Predicting the Final Standings: It Is Ugly

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

I ran a simple formula to predict the final points for each Western Conference Team. While the position of the Portland Timbers is not surprising the final point total might be.

I have run this simulation before but for those who have not seen it I will give a brief breakdown of my calculations. I first calculated the points per game earned for all home and away games for each team. I then multiplied those numbers by the remaining home and away games for each team. Finally I added up the current point total with the calculated totals for the rest of the season and the end result is the projected point total for each of the teams.

Before we get into the projected here is a painful reminder of the current standings:

POS Team Pts GP
1 Seattle Sounders FC 25 12
2 Real Salt Lake 23 11
3 FC Dallas 17 12
4 Vancouver Whitecaps 16 10
5 Colorado 15 11
6 San Jose 10 10
7 Chivas USA 10 11
8 Portland Timbers 10 11
9 Los Angeles 9 8

It isn't pretty. Now for an even more painful look at the standings.

Projected Standings

1 Real Salt Lake 71
2 Seattle Sounders FC 70
3 Vancouver Whitecaps 54
4 Colorado 46
5 FC Dallas 45
6 Los Angeles 43
7 Chivas USA 31
8 San Jose 30
9 Portland Timbers 26

I think this quote just about sums up the start of the season for the Timbers: "Honey you got real ugly." The only interesting part about the standings is how depressed the point totals are compared to last year. Last year the cutoff for the playoffs was 51 but this year it looks like it will be about two wins lower. Even the point totals of the bottom four teams are lower than last year. The point total of 6th through 9th was 51, 48, 44, 26. There are two possible reasons for this depression and they are the amount of ties among the teams in the WC and the strength of the East. Currently Western teams have tied 34% of their games while the EC teams have only tied 31%. Another reason might be a stronger East compared to last year because the West dominated the East with a 41-22-27 (W-T-L) record.

Whatever the reason the depressed points for all but the top two teams means that Portland does have a chance if the actually win at home and then tie on the road.

What do you think of the projected standings? Anything I missed?

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