MLS Playoff Odds

MLS Playoff Odds

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 27, 2008
  • MLS Cup Playoffs, Playoff Odds, Playoff Push

Lots of people complain that the biggest thing against soccer is the lack of stats. Americans love their stats and honestly I can’t blame them. Other sports are full of them and soccer does lack some statistical value to some people.

Well, today I found a site that puts the math to the test and helps us figure out what each MLS club’s odds are at making the playoffs in 2008. calculates each teams odds of making the playoffs, how each upcoming game will impact those odds, and how well they have to finish out to have a shot. They use various formulas and simulations to help project a possible playoff tree.

So what is your clubs odds according to SportsClubStats? (Kudos to WVH reader henryo for the link)

Columbus Crew: 99.4%
New England Revolution: 99.3%
Chicago Fire: 97.3%
Houston Dynamo: 89.7%
DC United: 83.3%
New York Red Bulls: 82.7%
Real Salt Lake: 49.2%
FC Dallas: 42%
Toronto FC: 37.5%
Kansas City Wizards: 37%
Colorado Rapids: 24.3%
LA Galaxy: 23.7%
Chivas USA: 22.9%
San Jose Earthquakes: 11.8%

So what do we make of these numbers? Clearly the clubs below the line from the east have a very tough shot at making the playoffs here. Since there are only two automatic bids this year, getting into the playoffs from the eastern conference is a very tough thing to do this year.

Interesting to see how Real Salt Lake is doing here. Clubs like RSL and FC Dallas are definitely lucky with this playoff format this season. There is a clear drop off between DC/New York and RSL/Dallas. RSL’s most recent loss on the road to Columbus dropped them a little more than 10 percent.

Another cool thing this site did was take each club’s remaining games and simulate them a bunch of times. They took the records from those simulations and posted what each club’s odds would be if they had say a 3-4-2 record over their last nine games. Take a club like San Jose who is in the league cellar, according to this site they need at least a five wins over their last nine games to even have a hope of making the playoffs this season. Or you look at a club like Columbus, they need just two or three more wins to be really safe in the playoff race.

Pretty interesting stuff. Check it out and let me know what you think of your club’s odds here.