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Predicting the Final Standings

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Is this team going to be seen in the play-offs? (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Is this team going to be seen in the play-offs? (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Getty Images

So today I totally geeked out. I was looking this awesome website that predicts the play-off chances for all of the MLS. I know I have shared it before but I was looking at it a little more in depth and it has the Portland Timbers chances at 76%. Compared to the other expansion team, Vancouver Whitecaps at 6.4%, I really think the Timbers are really exceeding some expectations.

What really got me to geek out was the fact that I started thinking about where Portland might fall in the standings. I knew there was only one way to predict that and it was by using points per game. Which then led me to think about the difference between Portland on the road and Portland at home. Is straight points per game a good metric or should I factor in road vs home points per game? I decided to totally geek out and calculate them all.

So find out what I found out after the jump.

So to get the calculations I am going to share with you I did some simple spreadsheet math. First I calculated the points per game based on total game played and points. I did this by dividing the points by the total games played. Then I took that number and multiplied by the remaining number of games each team had. Once I found out how many points, given their form over the first quarter of the season, they would earn and added it to the points they currently have.

Here is what I got(The order of the teams is the current standings order):

West:

Club

Points per game

Games left

Future Points

Total Points

Final spot

LA Galaxy

1.769230769

21

37

60

2

Seattle Sounders FC

1.416666667

22

31

48

6

FC Dallas

1.7

24

41

58

3

Portland Timbers

1.7

24

41

58

3

Real Salt Lake

2.285714286

27

62

78

1

Colorado Rapids

1.454545455

23

33

49

5

Chivas USA

1.2

24

29

41

7

San Jose Earthquakes

1.2

24

29

41

7

Vancouver Whitecaps

0.727272727

23

17

25

9

East

Team

Points per game

Games left

Future Points

Total Points

Final spot

Philadelphia Union

1.7

24

41

58

1

New York Red Bulls

1.6

24

38

54

2

Houston Dynamo

1.272727273

23

29

43

4

Columbus Crew

1.3

24

31

44

3

New England Revolution

1.181818182

23

27

40

6

D.C. United

1.2

24

29

41

5

Toronto FC

1

22

22

34

7

Chicago Fire

0.8

24

19

27

8

Sporting Kansas City

0.5

26

13

17

9

As you can see the East will shake out about the same but the West will look differently than the current standings. Especially if Real Salt Lake can keep up the 2.2 ppg they are currently getting, I really doubt they can I think they will fall back to earth with a 1.6 or 1.7 ppg. If these standings are what the final standing would look like the Play-off teams would be LA Galaxy, RSL, Seattle Sounders, Colorado Rapids, Portland Timbers, FC Dallas, New York Redbulls, Philadelphia Union, Columbus Crew and Houston Dynamo.

If you take a look at the East leading Union you can see even they rarely win on the road, with a 1-3-0 record. So the question is what if we separate the home and away games and calculate them separately for points per game. I used the same calculations as I used for overall points per game only for home and away games.

West

Club

Home PPG

Away PPG

Home Left

Away Left

Points

Total Points

Final Standing

LA Galaxy

2.2

1.5

12

9

40

63

2

Seattle Sounders FC

1.833333

1.2

11

12

35

52

5

FC Dallas

2.166667

1

11

13

37

54

4

Portland Timbers

3

0.4

12

12

41

58

3

Real Salt Lake

2.5

2

13

14

61

77

1

Colorado Rapids

1.6

1.333333

12

11

34

50

6

Chivas USA

1

1.6

13

12

32

44

7

San Jose Earthquakes

1.333333

1

11

13

28

40

8

Vancouver Whitecaps

1.166667

0.2

11

12

15

23

9

East (I know Sporting Kansas City is the one outlier, so what I did was took a league average of 1.87 ppg and subtracted .5 from it just cause that sounded good. I can't quite figure a way out to give the a number for home ppg)

Team

Home PPG

Away PPG

Home Left

Away Left

Points

Total

Final standings

Philadelphia Union

2.333333

0.75

11

13

35

52

2

New York Red Bulls

2.5

1.2

13

12

47

63

1

Houston Dynamo

1.666667

0.8

11

12

28

42

4

Columbus Crew

2.2

0.4

12

12

31

44

3

New England Revolution

1.833333

0.4

11

12

25

38

5

D.C. United

1.5

0.75

11

13

26

38

5

Toronto FC

1.428571

0.4

10

12

19

31

7

Chicago Fire

1.25

0.5

13

11

22

30

8

Sporting Kansas City

1.57(arbitrary)

0.5

17

9

28

32

9

As you can see it does change the amount of points each team receives. Here they are side by side:

West

Club

Total Points(overall ppg)

Total Points(Home and Away)

LA Galaxy

60

63

Seattle Sounders FC

48

52

FC Dallas

58

54

Portland Timbers

58

58

Real Salt Lake

78

77

Colorado Rapids

49

50

Chivas USA

41

44

San Jose Earthquakes

41

40

Vancouver Whitecaps

25

23

East

Team

Total Points(overall ppg)

Total Points (Home and Away)

Philadelphia Union

58

52

New York Red Bulls

54

63

Houston Dynamo

43

42

Columbus Crew

44

44

New England Revolution

40

38

D.C. United

41

38

Toronto FC

34

31

Chicago Fire

27

30

Sporting Kansas City

17

32

Surprisingly the Timbers total points don't change at all, of course the home and away has the away ppg at 3 which means Portland only picked up 7 points on the road. Also the only difference between the play-off bound teams is that Chivas USA swaps with the Dynamo.

Either way I think the only Cascadia team not in the play-offs is the our friends to the far north. Seattle and Portland look destined to be right next to each other in the standings.