The 2011 Table - Magic Numbers, Tragic Numbers & Other Calculated Distortions [R]

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by Knave, Aug 25, 2011.

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  1. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    Is this thing on? It’s on? We’re going live!
    Code:
    [B][U]         GP  GR  W   D   L   PTS PPG   PRJ MPP SE# T#  M#  WS# HD#   AD#   CNF[/U]
    01  LAG  26  08  14  09  03  51  1.96  67  75  25  44  06  --  -.75  -.76  W
    02  SEA  26  08  12  09  05  45  1.73  59  69  19  38  12  00† 0.00  -.01  W
    03  FCD  26  08  12  07  07  43  1.65  56  67  17  36  14  02  0.25  0.24  W
    04  CMB  25  09  11  07  07  40  1.60  54  67  17  36  17  05  0.56  0.55  E
    05  RSL  23  11  10  06  07  36  1.57  53  69  19  38  21  09  0.82  0.81  W
    06  COL  27  07  10  11  06  41  1.52  52  62  12  31  16  04  0.57  0.56  W
    07  SKC  25  09  09  09  07  36  1.44  49  63  13  32  21  09  1.00  0.99  E
    08  PHI  24  10  08  10  06  34  1.42  48  64  14  33  23  11  1.10  1.09  E
    09  HOU  26  08  08  11  07  35  1.35  46  59  09  28  22  10  1.25  1.24  E
    10  DCU  24  10  07  10  07  31  1.29  44  61  11  30  26  14  1.40  1.39  E
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    11  NYR  26  08  06  14  06  32  1.23  42  56  06  25  25  13  1.63  1.61  E
    12  POR  26  08  09  05  12  32  1.23  42  56  06  25  25  13  1.63  1.61  W
    13  CHV  26  08  07  10  09  31  1.19  41  55  05  24  26  14  1.75  1.74  W
    14  SJE  25  09  05  10  10  25  1.00  34  52  02  21  32  20  2.22  2.21  W
    15  CHI  25  09  03  15  07  24  0.96  33  51  01  20  33  21  2.33  2.32  E
    16  NER  26  08  04  11  11  23  0.88  30  47  --  16  34  22  2.75  2.74  E
    17  TFC  27  07  04  11  12  23  0.85  29  44  --  13  34  22‡ 3.14  3.13  E
    18  VAN  25  09  03  09  13  18  0.72  24  45  --  14  39  27  3.00  2.99  W
    
    Current AD-Baseline: 45^[/B]
    Code:
    [B]GP = Games Played | GR = Games Remaining | PPG = Points Per Game
    MPP = Max Points Possible = PTS + (3 x GR)
    SE# = SS Elimination Number = MPP - (1st Place PTS) + 1 
    M# = Magic Number = (11th Highest MPP) – PTS + 1
    T# = Tragic Number = MPP – (10th Highest PTS) + 1
    HD# = Historical Despair Number = Full explanation below
    AD# = Actual Despair Number = Full explanation below
    
    - Sorted by PPG, then most GR, then alphabetical.*
    - Teams in [COLOR="SlateGray"]gray[/COLOR] have been eliminated from the playoffs.
    - Teams in [COLOR="DarkBlue"]blue[/COLOR] have clinched a playoff spot.
    - Teams in [COLOR="SeaGreen"]green[/COLOR] are conference seeds.
    - Team in [COLOR="Brown"]brown[/COLOR] has won the Wooden Spoon.
    - Teams in [I]italics[/I] are conference champions.[/B]
    Asterisks

    * In the final weeks MLS tie-breakers will replace the final alphabetical sort. But until the final weeks it's seriously not worth the bother.

    ‡ TFC’s MPP currently sets the pace for this number. When a team sets the pace on this number its WS# is impossible to attain.

    † SEA can no longer win the Spoon.

    ^ Set by DCU’s current 44 point (1.29 PPG) pace.

    Code:
    [B][U]Pace: Deviation from 3 at home, 1 on the road[/U]
    
    [U]         GP  PTS HG  AG  HW  HD  HL  AW  AD  AL  PCE[/U]
    01  LAG  26  51  13  13  08  05  00  06  04  03  -01
    02  SEA  26  45  12  14  06  04  02  06  05  03  -05
    03  FCD  26  43  14  12  08  03  03  04  04  04  -11
    04  CMB  25  40  13  12  08  04  01  03  03  06  -11
    05  RSL  23  36  13  10  08  03  02  02  03  05  -13
    06  COL  27  41  14  13  05  07  02  05  04  04  -14
    07  SKC  25  36  11  14  06  04  01  03  05  06  -11
    08  PHI  24  34  12  12  05  06  01  03  04  05  -14
    09  HOU  26  35  14  12  08  03  03  00  08  04  -19
    10  DCU  24  31  12  12  03  06  03  04  04  04  -17
    11  NYR  26  32  12  14  05  05  02  01  09  04  -18
    12  POR  26  32  14  12  08  02  04  01  03  08  -22
    13  CHV  26  31  12  14  04  04  04  03  06  05  -19
    14  SJE  25  25  14  11  03  07  04  02  03  06  -28
    15  CHI  25  24  12  13  02  08  02  01  07  05  -25
    16  NER  26  23  13  13  03  06  04  01  05  07  -29
    17  TFC  27  23  13  14  04  05  04  00  06  08  -30
    18  VAN  25  18  11  14  03  05  03  00  04  10  -29
    
    Sorted by PCE, then fewest GP, then PPG.[/B]
    Code:
    [B][U]PPG: Home and Away[/U]
    
    [U]         HPPG             APPG[/U]
    01  LAG  2.23    01  LAG  1.69
    02  CMB  2.15    02  SEA  1.64
    03  RSL  2.08    03  COL  1.46
    04  SKC  2.00    04  FCD  1.33
    05  FCD  1.93    05  DCU  1.33
    06  HOU  1.93    06  PHI  1.08
    07  POR  1.86    07  CHV  1.07
    08  SEA  1.83    08  CMB  1.00
    09  PHI  1.75    09  SKC  1.00
    10  NYR  1.67    10  RSL  0.90
    11  COL  1.57    11  NYR  0.86
    12  CHV  1.33    12  SJE  0.82
    13  TFC  1.31    13  CHI  0.77
    14  VAN  1.27    14  HOU  0.67
    15  DCU  1.25    15  NER  0.62
    16  CHI  1.17    16  POR  0.50
    17  NER  1.15    17  TFC  0.43
    18  SJE  1.14    18  VAN  0.29[/B]
    Code:
    [B][U]Remaining League Schedule[/U]
    [U]
          WK24  WK25  WK26  WK27  WK28  WK29  WK30  WK31  WK32[/U]
    CHI:   COL  ----  @SJE   CHV   NER  @RSL  ----   FCD   CMB
          ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  @HOU  ----  @DCU  ----
    CMB:  @SEA  ----   TFC   HOU   LAG  @SKC  ----  @NER  @CHI
          ----  ----  ----  @PHI  ----   DCU  ----  ----  ----
    COL:  @CHI  ----  @LAG  @TFC   SJE   FCD  ----   RSL  @VAN
    CHV:  RSL  ----   DCU   @CHI  @DCU   PHI  ----  @LAG   SEA
          ----  ----  ----  ----   TFC  ----  ----  ----  ----
    DCU:   POR  ----  @CHV  @SEA   CHV  @PHI  ----  @VAN   SKC
          ----  ----  ----  ----   RSL  @CMB  ----   CHI  ----
    FCD:  @SKC  ----  @NER   NYR   HOU  @COL  ----  @CHI  @SJE
          ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----   VAN  ----
    HOU:  @VAN  ----  @SKC  @CMB  @FCD   CHI  ----  @POR   LAG
          ----  ----  ----   SJE  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----
    LAG:  @NYR  ----  @SKC   VAN  @CMB   RSL  ----   CHV  @HOU
          ----  ----   COL  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----
    NER:  @PHI  ----   FCD  @POR  @CHI   SEA   SJE   CMB  @TFC
    NYR:   LAG  ----   VAN  @FCD   RSL  @TFC  ----  @SKC   PHI
          ----  ----  ----  ----   POR  ----  ----  ----  ----
    PHI:   NER  @RSL   POR   CMB  @SKC   DCU  @SEA   TFC  @NYR
          ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  @CHV  ----  ----  ----
    POR:  @DCU  ----  @PHI   NER   SJE  @VAN  ----   HOU  @RSL
          ----  ----  ----  ----  @NYR  ----  ----  ----  ----
    RSL:  @CHV   PHI  @SEA   SKC  @NYR   CHI  @VAN  @COL   POR
          ----  ----  ----  ----  @DCU  @LAG  ----  ----  ----
    SEA:   CMB  ----   RSL   DCU  @VAN  @NER   PHI   SJE  @CHV
    SJE:  @TFC  ----   CHI  @HOU  @POR   SKC  @NER  @SEA   FCD
          ----  ----  ----  ----  @COL  ----  ----  ----  ----
    SKC:   FCD  ----   LAG  @RSL   PHI   CMB  ----   NYR  @DCU
          ----  ----   HOU  ----  ----  @SJE  ----  ----  ----
    TFC:   SJE  ----  @CMB   COL  @CHV   NYR  ----  @PHI   NER
    VAN:   HOU  ----  @NYR  @LAG   SEA   POR   RSL   DCU   COL
          ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  @FCD  ----
    
    (Sorry about the scroll. A bigger league means a bigger schedule.)[/B]
    Code:
    [B][U]Remaining Strength of Schedule[/U]
    (Factoring Opponent Home and Away Performance)
    
    01  HOU:  1.56
    02  LAG:  1.43
    03  SJE:  1.42
    04  VAN:  1.37
    05  NER:  1.36
    06  CMB:  1.34
    07  CHI:  1.32
    08  RSL:  1.32
    09  CHV:  1.31
    10  COL:  1.29
    11  TFC:  1.28
    12  PHI:  1.28
    13  POR:  1.26
    14  DCU:  1.26
    15  SKC:  1.23
    16  NYR:  1.21
    17  SEA:  1.11
    18  FCD:  1.11[/B]
    Code:
    [B][U]MLS Numbers Resources[/U]
    
    [URL="http://www.sportsclubstats.com/USA/MLS.html"]SportsClubStats[/URL]
    [URL="http://www.kiva.net/~jsagarin/sports/soccer.htm"]Sagarin's MLS Ratings[/URL]
    [URL="http://playoffstatus.com/mls/mls.html"]PlayoffStatus[/URL]
    [URL="http://usasoccer.blogspot.com/"]Climbing The Ladder[/URL]
    [URL="http://www.settingthetable.info/home.asp"]Setting The Table[/URL]
    [URL="http://www.mlssoccer.com/content/2010-playoff-standings"]MLSSoccer's Playoff Table[/URL]
    [URL="http://www.mlssoccer.com/playoff-format"]MLS Playoff Tiebreakers[/URL]
    [URL="http://soccernet.espn.go.com/tables?league=usa.1&cc=5901"]ESPN Soccernet's MLS Table[/URL] 
    
    Please suggest others.[/B]
    The Despair Numbers

    There are some changes from last year. Some of this I can justify, some of this is just gut feeling.

    Here’s the back story for those who don’t know. Because DCU was so full of despair last year, I developed a measure of that despair early in the season to gauge just how screwed my team was. I called this number the Despair Number (clever, eh!). The Despair Numbers are an estimate of the pace a team would require for the remainder of their season to end the season as a serious playoff contender. There are two variants: the Historical Despair number (HD#) and the Actual Despair Number (AD#).

    The HD# was based on the anecdotal observation, noticed by many, that in the 30 game season we had in MLS for quite a while until this year, the lower minimum for playoff viability has been about 40 points. That’s not to say you’re in with 40 points, only that 40 points should put you within historical spitting distance of the playoffs. A 40 point team in a 30 game season is looking at 1.33 PPG.

    But this year we’ve got a 34 game season and MLS (in their finite wisdom) decided to allow 10 teams into the playoffs. So does that mean the old 1.33 PPG standard is no longer valid? Does it have to be lower to accommodate the extra teams? Some think so. Setting the Table has set the playoff bar at 1.20PPG this year because in the past that’s about where the 10th place team finished the season. I disagree and the basis for my disagreement is the league’s relative disparity compared to some years in the recent past.

    We began to see this last year. At the end of the 2010 season the top half of the table was just a whole lot better than the bottom half of the table. Last year’s 8th place team was looking at 1.53PPG at the end of the year – a massive 0.23 PPG higher than the 9th place team. In terms of disparity, this year is looking an awful lot like last year. (I said a lot about this last year, and no doubt I’ll say more about it this year.) Maybe we won’t have quite the same kind of gap (some of that is just random variation), but I do believe we’ll still see a top half of the table that has its act basically together, and a bottom half that really doesn’t (in essence a bimodal rather than normal distribution – but that’ll never really show up in the stats given that there are only 18 teams). In this year’s 34 game season, even factoring in the two extra spots, I’m thinking it’s going to take about 45 points to make it into the playoffs. That’s again just about 1.33 PPG or 45 PTS over a 34 game season.

    Hence the formula for the HD#:

    HD# = (45 points - Actual Points) / Games Remaining

    The HD# means: a team must maintain a “#.##” PPG pace for the remainder of the season to end the season at the 1.33 PPG threshold.

    The HD# is ultimately anecdotal (and worse: a bit of a gut estimate) and should be treated as such. It has discussion value. It may perhaps ultimately have some predictive value (that would be spiffy). But it’s something you can argue about, especially this year with all the changes in the league. I’m going with 1.33 PPG because looking at the changes and the numbers and the league trends, it makes sense to me. But I freely admit the measure is a bit suspect given all that’s changed for 2011.

    One thing is, however, certain: the HD# does not reflect the actual performance of the 10th place team. That’s why I also track a second Despair Number that I call the Actual Despair Number (AD#). It’s calculated like this:

    AD# = ([(Current 10th Place Points Per Game * 34) + 1] - Actual Points) / Games Remaining

    This number reflects the actual performance of the 10th place team. Rank the teams by points per game, project the 10th place team's points per game over a 34 game season, add 1 (because you need to beat that team), subtract the team’s actual points, divide by the games remaining.

    The AD# means: a team must maintain a “#.##” PPG pace for the remainder of the season to outpace and thus beat the current 10th place team's actual pace.

    Why should you care about these numbers? Because they say something about just how screwed and unscrewed your team actually is. (On reflection, I don’t think unscrewed means the opposite of screwed in all contexts. English! It be funny like that.) Briefly:

    - If a team’s actual PPG is greater than its Despair Numbers, the team is doing just fine.
    - If a team’s actual PPG is in the same range as its Despair Numbers, the team is still in the playoff hunt.
    - If a team’s actual PPG is significantly less than its Despair Numbers, then the team is on its way to being toast.
    - If a team’s Despair Numbers are over 2.00 PPG, then its becoming burnt toast.
    - If a team’s Despair Numbers are over 3.00 PPG, then it’s time for that team’s supporters to start thinking about all the glories that next season might bring, but probably won’t. (Sorry TFC!)​

    Which of the two despair measures is most important? I used to think the HD# was the more compelling measure because it tended to reflect a lower minimum while the AD# in practice tended to reflect an upper ceiling. But this year, I don’t know. Indeed, for all I know right now, my HD# baseline is totally wrong. So I’ll be watching both numbers in this thread.

    But I will say this one thing: I’ve been watching these numbers all season and the HD# and the AD# have been trending fairly closely so far. This, I believe, lends some small bit of support for my prediction that this year the lower minimum for playoff entrance will be about 1.33 PPG.

    Finally, I’m keeping the Despair Numbers as PPG this year because most people seem to prefer it this way, and because I always seem to need to economize space in the table as the season goes on.

    Notes on The Playoff Race

    In the past I’ve started this thread later in the season because there’s usually nothing too much to talk about until mid-September. But teams are just withering out there.

    Already TFC and VAN are effectively out of the playoff race. When your Despair Numbers are at 3.00 PPG or above, then you can’t lose any points the rest of the season and hope to compete for a playoff spot. Both TFC and VAN have despair numbers at 3.00 PPG or above.

    Then you’ve got SJE, CHI and NER with despair numbers in the 2.00 PPG range. The best team in the league, LAG, is only averaging 1.96 PPG. To compete for a playoff spot, SJE, CHI and NER have to outperform LAG’s performance thus far for the remainder of the season. How likely is that?

    So here we are in late August and I’m thinking 5 teams have already been effectively eliminated from playoff contention.

    Looking forward, if MLS had kept the playoffs at 8 teams, we might again be looking at a real stinker of a playoff race, just like last year. The cause, again, is the aforementioned team disparity.

    The 1-8th place teams can, at this point, basically stumble their way into the playoffs: they’re all averaging well above 1.00 PPG and all any of them really need to make the playoffs is (likely) around 1.00 PPG. (LAG could lose the rest of its games and would still be virtually guaranteed a playoff spot.)

    HOU might yet be able to break into the 1-8th place pack (their Despair Numbers are both lower than their actual PPG thus far), but other than them, there aren’t any other teams that appear able to break into the top 8 (or for that matter into their respective conference top threes). That tells me that if not for the 2 extra playoff spots this year, we might not have much of a playoff race at all.

    Bits of Tid

    Hey NER, TFC and VAN! I've got bad news for you. All three of you have already been eliminated from Shield contention.

    DCU ended last season as the only team in the league with a worse home than away record. This year the only team in the league with a worse home than away record is, again, DCU. (It’s been worse pretty much all season.) RFK ain’t what it used to be.

    NYR! Ahaha! Level on PTS and PPG with POR. But there is hope: 3rd easiest schedule in the league.

    If there’s any hope for topping LAG in the Shield race, it comes from the easy schedules of FCD and SEA (and LAG’s quite difficult schedule).

    HOU is well positioned for a playoff run, but they have the most difficult schedule in the league as a headwind.

    There are several really dominant home teams this year.

    Stuff & Crap

    Errors happen. Alert me to them in this thread and I’ll correct them ASAP. Errors particularly happen early on in this thread before I remember how I did all this stuff in the past.

    Full updates once a week, mini-updates (the main table) as warranted.

    I may put together a quick primer on formatting tables. People seem to be having trouble with that, but once you know a few tricks, they're easy.

    I always say future posts in this thread won't be as long as the first one, but inevitably one is.
     
    henryo repped this.
  2. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    'diego
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I haven't read or perused the whole thing but interesting that Seattle and FCD are tied for the weakest remaining strength of schedule with 1.11, while LAG is second highest with 1.43. The Supporters Shield may very well still be in play as it turns out.

    Also interesting that Houston has the highest remaining strength of schedule by a longshot at 1.56. They're going to have play well coming in if they are to make the playoffs.

    As always, incredible work Knave. I annually love this thread.
     
  3. DCUSA

    DCUSA Member+

    Jan 14, 2006
    Virginia
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I admit I didn't read the whole thing word for word, but your remaining schedule table is missing three games, home to RSL, at Crew, home to Fire. Why is that? Gave me a mini heart attack when I thought we only had seven games left.
     
  4. RapidStorm

    RapidStorm Member+

    Jan 30, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Almost gave yourself a heart attack for nothing: the games are there, just look one row lower.
     
  5. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    'diego
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Shouldn't this formula have "Current 10th Place Points Per Game" rather than "8th Place"?

    Figured I'd point that out.
     
  6. DCUSA

    DCUSA Member+

    Jan 14, 2006
    Virginia
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Duh. Hope my boss doesn't poke around here.
     
  7. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    Carryover from last year. Thought I had them all. Fixed.
    The DCU schedule has two lines. Look down. The games are there.
     
  8. DCUSA

    DCUSA Member+

    Jan 14, 2006
    Virginia
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No, no, they're there, I just didn't look one line below, my bad.
     
  9. Jough

    Jough Member+

    Jul 30, 2007
    Kansas City
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'd love to believe that KC has one of the easiest remaining schedules and a shot at first in the east (well, hell, we do have a pretty good shot), but man, despite excellent home form, these next few home games are going to be far from easy.

    That aside, great stuff, appreciate it.
     
  10. ImaPuppy

    ImaPuppy Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Using too many parentheses
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    American Samoa
    There is one little * I'd like to throw in there though. We have L.A. at home the last week of the season. I expect, by that time they'll have already clinched the Supporter's Shield (or at least a high playoff spot) and will perhaps rest a lot of key starters, while I expect us to be qualified for the playoffs, or very close where even if we lost, perhaps other teams would have to win.

    In that sense, I think the difficulty of schedule statistic is a little skewed.
     
  11. OldRetiredCoach

    Feb 22, 2003
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I have looked forward to this thread. Now, if only the Union can ride out the storm to the end of the season...

    Thanks for all your work, Knave. (and have some rep)
     
  12. newtex

    newtex Member+

    May 25, 2005
    Houston
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Unfortunately, even if you take the Galaxy game out of the equation our seven opponents before the Galaxy game have a PPG average of 1.54. That's still the toughest in the league.

    There is a very good chance that we'll need the 3 points against LAG. Might be easier to get them if LA is resting players but we'll probably still need them unless we get a lot better on the road than we've been.
     
  13. Sounders78

    Sounders78 Member+

    Apr 20, 2009
    Olympia
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    France
    I've been not-so-patiently waiting for this thread.

    Thank you. I'd rep you if I could.
     
  14. JayRockers!

    JayRockers! Member+

    Aug 4, 2001
    What's the WS# stand for? I can't quite figure it out.

    Thx,

    Jay!
     
  15. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    Oh, I left that one out. Calculated thusly:

    WS# = Wooden Spoon # = (18th Highest MPP) - PTS +1

    It is the number of PTS a team needs to be ineligible for the WS.
     
  16. edwardgr

    edwardgr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would rep this thread everyday of the week and twice on Sunday if I could.
     
  17. Barbieri

    Barbieri Member+

    Jul 8, 2004
    Decatur, GA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As usual - par excellence Knave. YMSR (someone rep him up for me)
     
  18. GreatGonzo

    GreatGonzo Member+

    Jul 1, 1999
    NH
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Then there's also the automatic spots / wild-card issue.

    Western Conference:

    Currently LAG, SEA, and FCD. Given the easy schedule FCD and SEA have remaining, plus LAG's current lead, plus the fact that the majority of RSL's remaining schedule is on the road, I think there's a good shot that those three slots aren't going to change. COL is definitely on the outside looking in, and given their defensive woes and CCL games, I think they're going to have to settle for one of the wild-card slots. RSL does have the benefit of no CCL games, while all the other teams are in the CCL.

    Eastern Conference:

    Currently CMB, SKC, and PHI. Of those, I'd say CMB and SKC are pretty solid picks. CMB has been playing well, and SKC, though they still have to play a lot of the top-ranking teams, are mostly at home where they've been doing very well. As for the final slot, that's a toss-up between PHI, HOU, DC, and even NY.

    Wildcards:

    COL and RSL are pretty solidly in these spots, and if one of them manages to surpass one of FCD / SEA / LAG, that team will drop down into that spot. It would require a huge change in form from either of those teams to drop out. Then you have PHI / HOU / DC / NY / CUSA / POR fighting for 1 EC spot + 2 wildcard slots. That's going to be fun to watch.
     
  19. aletheist

    aletheist Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Olathe, Kansas, USA
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I was surprised and a bit skeptical myself, but it comes down to the fact that SKC has 6 of 9 remaining games at home, and 2 of the 3 away games are against the worst (SJE) and 4th-worst (DCU) teams at home so far this season. Although the next 6 straight games are all against opponents that are currently in playoff position, FCD will likely rest starters between CCL and USOC matches, LAG will be without Donovan and Keane due to international duty, and HOU is winless on the road. The PHL and CLB games--just 5 days apart--will obviously be critical for final positioning in the Eastern Conference.
     
  20. Kappa74

    Kappa74 Member+

    Feb 2, 2010
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    I think knave's prediction of a 1.33 ppg cutoff seems about right. This has been the case since 2005, with last year seeing a real spike to 1.53. With more teams joining the league, the cutoff point is a bit higher than the early years. My feeling was that it would have increased this year as well, though it appears the 2 extra playoff spots have negated the expansion in Portland and Vancouver. If we just look at the #8 spot, the cutoff ppg is 1.42 as of now. Should be interesting to see where it ends up.
     
  21. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    ... Hurricane Edition ...

    Code:
    [B][U]         GP  GR  W   D   L   PTS PPG   PRJ MPP SE# T#  M#  WS# HD#   AD#   CNF[/U]
    01  LAG  26  08  14  09  03  51  1.96  67  75  25  44  06  --  -.75  -.76  W
    02  SEA  27  07  13  09  05  48  1.78  60  69  19  38  09  --  -.43  -.44  W
    03  FCD  27  07  13  07  07  46  1.70  58  67  17  36  11  --  -.14  -.15  W
    04  RSL  24  10  11  06  07  39  1.63  55  69  19  38  18  04  0.60  0.59  W
    05  CMB  26  08  11  07  08  40  1.54  52  64  14  33  17  03  0.63  0.61  E
    06  COL  28  06  10  11  07  41  1.46  50  59  09  28  16  02  0.67  0.65  W
    07  PHI  24  10  08  10  06  34  1.42  48  64  14  33  23  09  1.10  1.09  E
    08  SKC  26  08  09  09  08  36  1.38  47  60  10  29  21  07  1.13  1.11  E
    09  HOU  27  07  08  11  08  35  1.30  44  56  06  25  22  08  1.43  1.42  E
    10  DCU  24  10  07  10  07  31  1.29  44  61  11  30  26  12  1.40  1.39  E
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    11  NYR  26  08  06  14  06  32  1.23  42  56  06  25  25  11  1.63  1.61  E
    12  POR  26  08  09  05  12  32  1.23  42  56  06  25  25  11  1.63  1.61  W
    13  CHV  27  07  07  10  10  31  1.15  39  52  02  21  26  12  2.00  1.99  W
    14  CHI  26  08  04  15  07  27  1.04  35  51  01  20  30  16  2.25  2.24  E
    15  SJE  26  08  05  11  10  26  1.00  34  50  --  19  31  17  2.38  2.36  W
    16  NER  26  08  04  11  11  23  0.88  30  47  --  16  34  20  2.75  2.74  E
    17  TFC  28  06  04  12  12  24  0.86  29  42  --  11  33  19‡ 3.50  3.49  E
    18  VAN  26  08  04  09  13  21  0.81  27  45  --  14  36  22  3.00  2.99  W
    
    Current AD-Baseline: 45^[/B]
    Code:
    [B]GP = Games Played | GR = Games Remaining | PPG = Points Per Game
    MPP = Max Points Possible = PTS + (3 x GR)
    SE# = SS Elimination Number = MPP - (1st Place PTS) + 1 
    M# = Magic Number = (11th Highest MPP) – PTS + 1
    T# = Tragic Number = MPP – (10th Highest PTS) + 1
    WS# = Wooden Spoon # = (18th Highest MPP) - PTS +1
    HD# = Historical Despair Number = [URL="https://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showpost.php?p=24203471&postcount=1"]Full explanation[/URL]
    AD# = Actual Despair Number = [URL="https://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showpost.php?p=24203471&postcount=1"]Full explanation[/URL]
    
    - Sorted by PPG, then most GR, then alphabetical.*
    - Teams in [COLOR="SlateGray"]gray[/COLOR] have been eliminated from the playoffs.
    - Teams in [COLOR="DarkBlue"]blue[/COLOR] have clinched a playoff spot.
    - Teams in [COLOR="SeaGreen"]green[/COLOR] are conference seeds.
    - Team in [COLOR="Brown"]brown[/COLOR] has won the Wooden Spoon.
    - Teams in [I]italics[/I] are conference champions.[/B]
    Asterisks

    * In the final weeks MLS tie-breakers will replace the final alphabetical sort. But until the final weeks it's seriously not worth the bother.

    ‡ TFC’s MPP currently sets the pace for this number. When a team sets the pace on this number its WS# is impossible to attain.

    ^ Set by DCU’s current 44 point (1.29 PPG) pace.

    Code:
    [B][U]Pace: Deviation from 3 at home, 1 on the road[/U]
    
    [U]         GP  PTS HG  AG  HW  HD  HL  AW  AD  AL  PCE[/U]
    01  LAG  26  51  13  13  08  05  00  06  04  03  -01
    02  SEA  27  48  13  14  07  04  02  06  05  03  -05
    03  FCD  27  46  14  13  08  03  03  05  04  04  -09
    04  RSL  24  39  13  11  08  03  02  03  03  05  -11
    05  CMB  26  40  13  13  08  04  01  03  03  07  -12
    06  PHI  24  34  12  12  05  06  01  03  04  05  -14
    07  SKC  26  36  12  14  06  04  02  03  05  06  -14
    08  COL  28  41  14  14  05  07  02  05  04  05  -15
    09  DCU  24  31  12  12  03  06  03  04  04  04  -17
    10  NYR  26  32  12  14  05  05  02  01  09  04  -18
    11  HOU  27  35  14  13  08  03  03  00  08  05  -20
    12  POR  26  32  14  12  08  02  04  01  03  08  -22
    13  CHV  27  31  13  14  04  04  05  03  06  05  -22
    14  CHI  26  27  13  13  03  08  02  01  07  05  -25
    15  SJE  26  26  14  12  03  07  04  02  04  06  -28
    16  NER  26  23  13  13  03  06  04  01  05  07  -29
    17  VAN  26  21  12  14  04  05  03  00  04  10  -29
    18  TFC  28  24  14  14  04  06  04  00  06  08  -32
    
    Sorted by PCE, then fewest GP, then PPG.[/B]
    Code:
    [B][U]PPG: Home and Away[/U]
    
    [U]         HPPG             APPG[/U]
    01  LAG  2.23    01  LAG  1.69
    02  CMB  2.15    02  SEA  1.64
    03  RSL  2.08    03  FCD  1.46
    04  FCD  1.93    04  COL  1.36
    05  HOU  1.93    05  DCU  1.33
    06  SEA  1.92    06  RSL  1.09
    07  POR  1.86    07  PHI  1.08
    08  SKC  1.83    08  CHV  1.07
    09  PHI  1.75    09  SKC  1.00
    10  NYR  1.67    10  CMB  0.92
    11  COL  1.57    11  NYR  0.86
    12  VAN  1.42    12  SJE  0.83
    13  CHI  1.31    13  CHI  0.77
    14  TFC  1.29    14  HOU  0.62
    15  DCU  1.25    15  NER  0.62
    16  CHV  1.23    16  POR  0.50
    17  NER  1.15    17  TFC  0.43
    18  SJE  1.14    18  VAN  0.29[/B]
    Code:
    [B][U]Remaining League Schedule[/U]
    
    [U]       TBA  WK25  WK26  WK27  WK28  WK29  WK30  WK31  WK32[/U]
    CHI:  ----  ----  @SJE   CHV   NER  @RSL  ----   FCD   CMB
          ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  @HOU  ----  @DCU  ----
    CMB:  ----  ----   TFC   HOU   LAG  @SKC  ----  @NER  @CHI
          ----  ----  ----  @PHI  ----   DCU  ----  ----  ----
    COL:  ----  ----  @LAG  @TFC   SJE   FCD  ----   RSL  @VAN
    CHV:  ----  ----   DCU  @CHI  @DCU   PHI  ----  @LAG   SEA
          ----  ----  ----  ----   TFC  ----  ----  ----  ----
    DCU:   POR  ----  @CHV  @SEA   CHV  @PHI  ----  @VAN   SKC
          ----  ----  ----  ----   RSL  @CMB  ----   CHI  ----
    FCD:  ----  ----  @NER   NYR   HOU  @COL  ----  @CHI  @SJE
          ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----   VAN  ----
    HOU:  ----  ----  @SKC  @CMB  @FCD   CHI  ----  @POR   LAG
          ----  ----  ----   SJE  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----
    LAG:  ----  ----  @SKC   VAN  @CMB   RSL  @NYR   CHV  @HOU
          ----  ----   COL  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----
    NER:  ----  ----  @PHI  @POR  @CHI   SEA   SJE   CMB  @TFC
          ----  ----   FCD  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----
    NYR:  ----  ----   VAN  @FCD   RSL  @TFC   LAG  @SKC   PHI
          ----  ----  ----  ----   POR  ----  ----  ----  ----
    PHI:  ----  @RSL   NER   CMB  @SKC   DCU  @SEA   TFC  @NYR
          ----  ----   POR  ----  ----  @CHV  ----  ----  ----
    POR:  @DCU  ----  @PHI   NER   SJE  @VAN  ----   HOU  @RSL
          ----  ----  ----  ----  @NYR  ----  ----  ----  ----
    RSL:  ----   PHI  @SEA   SKC  @NYR   CHI  @VAN  @COL   POR
          ----  ----  ----  ----  @DCU  @LAG  ----  ----  ----
    SEA:  ----  ----   RSL   DCU  @VAN  @NER   PHI   SJE  @CHV
    SJE:  ----  ----   CHI  @HOU  @POR   SKC  @NER  @SEA   FCD
          ----  ----  ----  ----  @COL  ----  ----  ----  ----
    SKC:  ----  ----   LAG  @RSL   PHI   CMB  ----   NYR  @DCU
          ----  ----   HOU  ----  ----  @SJE  ----  ----  ----
    TFC:  ----  ----  @CMB   COL  @CHV   NYR  ----  @PHI   NER
    VAN:  ----  ----  @NYR  @LAG   SEA   POR   RSL   DCU   COL
          ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  @FCD  ----[/B]
    Code:
    [B][U]Remaining Strength of Schedule[/U]
    (Factoring Opponent Home and Away Performance)
    
    01  HOU:  1.58
    02  VAN:  1.47
    03  SJE:  1.46
    04  LAG:  1.42
    05  COL:  1.39
    06  NER:  1.38
    07  RSL:  1.34
    08  TFC:  1.33
    09  CHV:  1.33
    10  CHI:  1.31
    11  DCU:  1.29
    12  POR:  1.28
    13  CMB:  1.26
    14  PHI:  1.25
    15  NYR:  1.21
    16  SKC:  1.21
    17  SEA:  1.16
    18  FCD:  0.99[/B]
    Code:
    [B][U]MLS Numbers Resources[/U]
    
    [URL="http://www.sportsclubstats.com/USA/MLS.html"]SportsClubStats[/URL]
    [URL="http://www.kiva.net/~jsagarin/sports/soccer.htm"]Sagarin's MLS Ratings[/URL]
    [URL="http://playoffstatus.com/mls/mls.html"]PlayoffStatus[/URL]
    [URL="http://usasoccer.blogspot.com/"]Climbing The Ladder[/URL]
    [URL="http://www.settingthetable.info/home.asp"]Setting The Table[/URL]
    [URL="http://www.mlssoccer.com/content/2010-playoff-standings"]MLSSoccer's Playoff Table[/URL]
    [URL="http://www.mlssoccer.com/playoff-format"]MLS Playoff Tiebreakers[/URL]
    [URL="http://soccernet.espn.go.com/tables?league=usa.1&cc=5901"]ESPN Soccernet's MLS Table[/URL] 
    
    Please suggest others.[/B]
    Notes

    This should have been a more substantial week for defining the table, but because a few key games were rescheduled, there's not a whole lot of movement. RSL's win was a big deal, but it would count for more if LAG, SEA and FCD weren't 1-3 in the West. CMB's loss should also be a big deal, but its possible effects are a bit masked because so many other teams in the East were idle or lost themselves -- big opportunity lost, HOU and SKC.

    If there was any real movement, it was the downward movement of CHV and SJE. Every loss (or even draw) with these teams means the hill they have to climb starts looking more and more like a mountain. With their losses, CHV's despair numbers have now just edged into the 2.00 PPG range, and SJE's are rising toward the insurmountable.

    CHI won, but they're in a position where only win after win after win can dramatically improve their situation. Decreasing their despair numbers by 0.08 PPG is something, but not much.

    And then you get to the teams who have passed the point of no return. VAN won their game, but because they have to win every game from here on out to have even the slightest chance at the playoffs, they have not actually improved their situation, only maintained it.

    Meanwhile, TFC also won. But because they're well over the edge of no return, their despair numbers actually got worse! The win cannot make up for the fact that they no longer have enough games left on their schedule to make any sort of remotely credible playoff run.

    Stuff

    I'll post an updated schedule once the DCU-POR game is scheduled. And when I do that I'll probably moved the Monday, September 5 LAG@SKC game to WK25 since that's how most people seem to be thinking about it.

    I've started eliminating the nonsense, impossible numbers. Hence the absence of a WS# for a few top teams, and the absence of a SE# for some bottom teams: the teams at the top can no longer win the WS, the teams at the bottom can no longer win the SS. At some point I'm sure to omit the nonsense despair numbers: TFC can't get more than 3.00 PPG, LAG can't get negative PPG. (But it certainly would be awesome if LAG could get negative PPG!)
     
  22. Kappa74

    Kappa74 Member+

    Feb 2, 2010
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Well, the Vancouver win sure made the Wooden Spoon race more interesting.
     
  23. Krasny

    Krasny Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Chicago West Side
    Maybe next year the wooden spoon will be brought to us by Nutrilite...
     
  24. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    'diego
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: ... Hurricane Edition ...

    TFC drew!!!! The AR called Plata offside when he wasn't!!!! ;)

    Carry on with otherwise superb work.
     
  25. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    Re: ... Hurricane Edition ...

    Oh, yeah ... And San Jose didn't lose, they drew. (Not that it matters to their situation. For them a draw is but a slower form of losing.)

    I know I had it in my head that not even a win could have helped TFC. Must have gotten a bit carried away with that line of thinking.

    Not the first mistake on my part. Not the last either. :D
     

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