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Predicting the Final Standings: Playoff implications

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I am back with my projected standings but this time with a twist. I was talking with others who were interested in projecting the final standings based on points per match and we all agreed there is a limitation to using calculations that have the whole season built into them. Especially in the cases of the New York Redbulls or the Philadelphia Union, you know start super fast and earn lots of points in the first 10 games but then slowly fade.

So here I decided to project the final points of all the teams in 3 ways:(Again the calculations are pretty simple, you just take points and divide it by the number of games.)

1) A straight points per match

2) Calculating the projected points based on the PPM at home and the PPM on the road

3) Only looking at form over the last 2 and a half months, so only games after July 1st are counted. (this is a straight PPM calculation)

More after the jump:

Eastern Conference Straight PPM

Club

PTS

Matches

PPM

Projected

Columbus Crew

41

28

1.46428571

49.7857143

Sporting Kansas City

40

28

1.42857143

48.5714286

Philadelphia Union

36

27

1.33333333

45.3333333

Houston Dynamo

36

29

1.24137931

42.2068966

D.C. United

34

25

1.36

46.24

New York Red Bulls

33

27

1.22222222

41.5555556

Chicago Fire

27

27

1

34

New England Revolution

27

28

0.96428571

32.7857143

Toronto FC

27

29

0.93103448

31.6551724

Analysis

As you can see Columbus, Sporting Kansas City and DC United would end up as the top 3 teams in the East. This feels right as they are currently the teams with the best form out of the East. However I just feel like Philly and New York may not get that many points.

Western Conference Straight PPM

Club

PTS

Matches

PPM

Projected

LA Galaxy

55

28

1.9642857

66.7857143

Seattle Sounders FC

48

28

1.7142857

58.2857143

FC Dallas

46

28

1.6428571

55.8571429

Real Salt Lake

45

26

1.7307692

58.8461538

Colorado Rapids

41

29

1.4137931

48.0689655

Portland Timbers

33

27

1.2222222

41.5555556

Chivas USA

31

28

1.1071429

37.6428571

San Jose Earthquakes

29

27

1.0740741

36.5185185

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

22

27

0.8148148

27.7037037

Analysis

The LA galaxy are running away with the Supporter's shield. Unless they start resting players early I really don't see anyone catching them. Seattle and RSL are in a dog fight for the number two spot and FC Dallas are fading into the top wildcard spot, I would not want to play them in the playoffs.

Eastern Conference Home/Away PPM

Club

Home pts

HM

HPPG

Away pts

AM

APPG

Projected

Columbus Crew

29

15

1.93333333

12

13

0.92307692

48.5589744

Sporting Kansas City

26

14

1.85714286

14

14

1

48.5714286

Philadelphia Union

23

14

1.64285714

13

13

1

44.9285714

Houston Dynamo

27

14

1.92857143

9

15

0.6

42.9857143

D.C. United

15

15

1

19

10

1.9

49.3

New York Red Bulls

21

13

1.61538462

12

14

0.85714286

42.032967

Chicago Fire

23

13

1.76923077

4

14

0.28571429

34.9340659

New England Revolution

18

14

1.28571429

9

14

0.64285714

32.7857143

Toronto FC

18

14

1.28571429

9

15

0.6

32.0571429

Analysis

Almost all of the teams have only 1 point deviation from the straight PPM calculation. The only team that gets significantly better or worse is DC United. Since, surprisingly, they actually have earned more points on the road than at home.

Club

Home pts

HM

Home PPM

Away pts

AM

Away PPM

Projected

LA Galaxy

32

14

2.285714286

23

14

1.64285714

66.785714

Seattle Sounders FC

25

14

1.785714286

23

14

1.64285714

58.285714

FC Dallas

27

14

1.928571429

19

14

1.35714286

55.857143

Real Salt Lake

30

14

2.142857143

15

12

1.25

57.678571

Colorado Rapids

22

14

1.571428571

19

15

1.26666667

48.247619

Portland Timbers

26

14

1.857142857

7

13

0.53846154

40.725275

Chivas USA

16

14

1.142857143

15

14

1.07142857

37.642857

San Jose Earthquakes

19

15

1.266666667

10

12

0.83333333

35.7

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

17

12

1.416666667

5

15

0.33333333

29.75

Analysis

Really there is no difference to the standings in the West when I calculated them with Home and Away PPM. However two teams see the projected points go down as they are such good home teams but have struggled on the road, the Portland Timbers and RSL.

Eastern Conference Since July

Club

Since July Pts

Matches

ppm

Projected

Columbus Crew

17

12

1.888889

52.33333

Sporting Kansas City

23

13

2.555556

55.33333

Philadelphia Union

10

11

1.111111

43.77778

Houston Dynamo

17

12

1.888889

45.44444

D.C. United

16

10

1.777778

50

New York Red Bulls

9

10

1

40

Chicago Fire

11

10

1.222222

35.55556

New England Revolution

12

11

1.333333

35

Toronto FC

9

10

1

32

Analysis

I found this to be the most interesting because look at Philadelphia and New York. They have barely obtained 1 point per match over the last two and a half months. Compare that to the first half of the season where they both earned 1.4 and 1.6 points per match. .4 to .6 difference in points per match is huge over 17 games, it comes out to 7-10 points lost.

Western Conference Since July

Club

July on

Matches

ppm

projected

LA Galaxy

20

9

2.222222

68.33333

Seattle Sounders FC

17

9

1.888889

59.33333

FC Dallas

15

11

1.666667

56

Real Salt Lake

19

11

2.111111

61.88889

Colorado Rapids

19

12

2.111111

51.55556

Portland Timbers

16

12

1.777778

45.44444

Chivas USA

14

11

1.555556

40.33333

San Jose Earthquakes

9

12

1

36

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

8

9

0.888889

28.22222

Analysis

As you can see the teams that benefit the most are RSL and the Portland Timbers as they both increase by over 3 points, Portland gets a 5-6 point jump which is huge. The in form teams seemed to be in the Western Conference and the out of form teams in the Eastern. Based on these calculations Portland would be tied for the 9th spot with Houston and New York would miss the playoffs.

John Spencer says it will take 10 points to make the playoffs and based on the "form" PPM calculations Portland would be the in the 10th spot with 43 points. We shall see though.