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Tale of the Tape: Predicting the final standings mid season

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Many of you remember the points per game analysis I did during the quarter mark of the season. At that point the Portland Timbers had just won their 5th straight home game and were riding a huge momentum wave. Well they now are at the lowest of lows just over midway through the season.

Once again the calculations are really easy and I will just quote myself from the previous post:

So to get the calculations I am going to share with you I did some simple spreadsheet math. First I calculated t he 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.

So find out what the final standings are going to look like after the jump:

Alright so since the Timbers and us fans only really care about the Eastern Conference (I think it should be called the leastern after seeing these numbers) because of the new play-off format lets get that conference over and done with:

Eastern Conference:

Here are the current standings:

#

Club

PTS

GP

Home

Home Pts

Away

Away Pts

1

New York Red Bulls

28

20

10

13

10

15

2

Philadelphia Union

28

18

9

19

9

9

3

Columbus Crew

27

18

9

18

9

9

4

Houston Dynamo

23

19

10

17

9

6

5

Sporting Kansas City

22

18

5

9

13

13

6

D.C. United

22

17

9

11

8

11

7

Chicago Fire

18

19

8

9

11

9

8

Toronto FC

18

21

11

4

10

14

9

New England

16

18

9

3

9

13

Now applying the calculations this is what I get:

Club

PPG

Projected

PPG home

Projected

PPG Away

Projected

PPG Total

New York Red Bulls

1.4

47.6

1.3

22

1.5

25.5

48

Philadelphia Union

1.555556

52.88889

2.111111

36

1

17

53

Columbus Crew

1.5

51

2

34

1

17

51

Houston Dynamo

1.210526

41.15789

1.7

29

0.666667

11.33333

40

Sporting Kansas City

1.222222

41.55556

1.8

31

1

17

48

D.C. United

1.294118

44

1.222222

21

1.375

23.375

44

Chicago Fire

0.947368

32.21053

1.125

19

0.818182

13.90909

33

Toronto FC

0.857143

29.14286

0.363636

6

1.4

23.8

30

New England

0.888889

30.22222

0.333333

6

1.444444

24.55556

30

If you remember the last time I ran these numbers there were sometimes some glaring differences between the two total points calculations. This time those calculations are almost exact in almost all cases. Interestingly enough it looks like the 3 teams that will be guaranteed the play-offs will be the Union, Columbus and depending on tiebreakers New York or the Wiz.

Western Conference:

Here are the current standings:

#

Club

PTS

GP

Home

Home Pts

Away

Away Pts

1

LA Galaxy

39

21

10

20

11

19

2

Seattle Sounders FC

35

21

10

18

11

17

3

FC Dallas

34

19

11

23

8

11

4

Real Salt Lake

30

17

10

21

7

9

5

Colorado Rapids

27

20

10

14

10

13

6

Chivas USA

22

19

10

12

9

10

7

San Jose Earthquakes

22

18

10

14

8

8

8

Portland Timbers

18

17

10

16

7

2

9

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

14

20

9

11

11

3

And now for the calculations:

Club

PPG

Projected

PPG home

Projected

PPG Away

Projected

PPG Total

LA Galaxy

1.857143

63.14286

2

34

1.727273

29.36364

63

Seattle Sounders FC

1.666667

56.66667

1.8

31

1.545455

26.27273

57

FC Dallas

1.789474

60.84211

2.090909

36

1.375

23.375

59

Real Salt Lake

1.764706

60

2.1

36

1.285714

21.85714

58

Colorado Rapids

1.35

45.9

1.4

24

1.3

22.1

46

Chivas USA

1.157895

39.36842

1.2

20

1.111111

18.88889

39

San Jose Earthquakes

1.222222

41.55556

1.4

24

1

17

41

Portland Timbers

1.058824

36

1.6

27

0.285714

4.857143

32

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

0.7

23.8

1.222222

21

0.272727

4.636364

25

Wow, just looking at the top 4 teams in comparison with the Eastern Conference makes you glad MLS has a balanced schedule. If they didn't it could be much worse for the two expansion teams. Houston must also be happy they moved because their projected 40 points is only 8 off of a play-off spot in the East, while that would get them 7th place in the West. The only silver lining in these numbers concerning Portland is the fact that they will not be dead last and would have at least 3 or 4 teams behind them.

The other obvious news is the fact that with the other teams in the conference having some huge projected point totals Play-offs is over and done with. The only way Play-offs become an option is if the .27 ppg on the road comes up to 1 ppg and the home ppg comes up to 2.

Cascadia Cup

Not only is it half-way through the MLS season but 3 of the 6 Cascadia Cup games have been played. Here are the current standings:

Pts

GP

Seattle

5

3

Vancouver

1

1

Portland

1

2

Looking at these standings Portland still has a shot at winning the cup but only if Vancouver ties or beats Seattle and Portland wins both the games against the Whitecaps.

Also to get your hopes up here is something to consider. Portland has yet to play the three out of the four worst road teams at home, Vancouver, Toronto and New England. However the road games don't get any easier as they have already played and lost to most of the teams that have bad home records:

Look for a in depth analysis of player-positions and why Portland is struggling on defense soon (hopefully in the next 2 days).