Before getting into the results of last week’s games, I wanted to provide the predicted season points totals for all MLS teams and the trend and direction that each team is headed.
Projected Season Points
This is another aspect where the Poisson Distribution can be used to predict a team’s final points for the year. To calculate this value we take the number of points a team currently has and look at the teams remaining games using the Poisson Formula for each game and calculate the expected points a team could receive from each game. This methodology produced strong results in the past, but more importantly, it provides an approach that looks at how difficult teams’ futures are based on their year-long form and who they play in the future.
Last week FC Cincinnati had a projected season points total of 33 and now it has fallen to 31. Only four teams are currently projected lower than FCC, not a trend that is looking good for the team. Also, FC Cincinnati has a projected finish of 11th only ahead of New England in the Eastern Conference.
Here are the current tiers:
Tier 1 – Los Angeles FC (still by themselves)
Tier 2 – Houston, LA Galaxy, Montreal, Toronto, Seattle
Tier 3 – Dallas, DC United, Philadelphia, Minnesota
Tier 4 – New York City FC, Orlando, SKC, New York Red Bulls
Tier 5 – Chicago thru Colorado — FC Cincinnati is here
Some of the big changes this week:
Minnesota and San Jose improved their points totals by gaining over six points from previous results. Montreal and Houston followed with improvements of just over four points.
The biggest drop was far and away Columbus with a decrease of just over seven points. Chicago and Kansas City had dropped over four points from heir previous week.
Last week the formula correctly predicted six wins but missed on the remaining 11 games. This is about par for guessing — 33% — but not as well as I would have anticipated. The fact there was a large number of teams playing twice in the week contributes to the difficulties in prediction. But that should even out when the weekend games had two teams that had already played once. Note: Things the formula cannot take into consideration are injuries, weather, fatigue, and international duty.
It is based solely on a team’s offensive and defensive efficiency when compared to the league’s average offensive and defensive efficiency.
Here are this week’s scores:
Running Total for Predicted Scores (started week 5 of the season):
- 26 correct – 42 incorrect (38.2% all games)
- 21 correct – 32 incorrect (39.6% removing three closest predicted games of the week)
- The three games the formula says to stay away from Colorado vs Vancouver, New York Red Bulls vs Los Angles Galaxy, and San Jose vs FC Cincinnati.
- Philadelphia and Cincinnati both play two games this week. Cincinnati traveled from New York to Philadelphia for the Wednesday match, but they will have to travel cross country for the second game this week. That travel schedule is not going to be beneficial for a team trying to find its way out of a rut. While the Union has two matches in the confines of Talen energy stadium this week against two of the weakest offensive and defensive teams in MLS with Cincinnati and New England. I would look long and hard at the Philly players for your fantasy teams. If you need to pick up a Cincinnati player a defender may be your best value.
- The game that is projected to have a lot of goals scored is Toronto vs Orlando. There is a question for Toronto on whether Jozy Altidore will play. Toronto has performed well when both Alejandro Pozuelo and Altidore are in the lineup. On the other side, you have Nani, Chris Mueller and Oriol Rosell. This is an offensive game to avoid defenders for your fantasy team.
- On the defensive side of the ball, the closest game is the New York Red Bulls vs LA Galaxy. This may seem like a stretch, but the Galaxy offense is ranked 22nd away in game form, while the Red Bulls home defense is ninth. When you factor in the travel across the country this is not a good mix for that Galaxy offense. You may want Zlatan and I understand, but I will probably look elsewhere.
- How real is Montreal? They have been playing outstanding defense, and they are finding ways to win. They get New York City FC, who are starting to make headway with Hebers on the frontline.
- Sporting Kansas City vs Atlanta United, two teams that have their fair share of struggles this year. This game shows up as the biggest blowout, but I am not so sure with SKC’s injury bug as of late and Atlanta’s stingy defense. If United get on the board first, I see them grinding out a draw or a victory. SKC gets a little too much of a boost offensively from the 7-1 victory and 4-4 draw last week. This is a buyer beware game.
- For more in-depth Fantasy Coverage listen to the On The Bounce podcast, produced locally here in Cincinnati.
For FC Cincinnati’s game versus the Philadelphia Union, below are the score lines broken down by percentages. Reminder, this is based on teams playing at full strength and under ideal conditions.
- Top five most likely scores in order: Philly Win 2-0, Philly Win 1-0, Philly Win 3-0, Philly Win 2-1, Draw 1-1.
- FC Cincinnati has a 10 percent chance of winning and an 18 percent chance of a draw.
- FC Cincy being shutout is at 53 percent, while Philly has a 12 percent chance of being shutout.
- Philly has the ninth-ranked offense and the sixth-ranked defense in MLS.
- FCC has the 21st-ranked offense and the 15th-ranked defense in MLS.
For stats on FC Cincinnati’s second game of the week Saturday in San Jose, follow me on twitter @khoetker