Nashville SC

MLS Power ratings and playoff picture: Oct. 27, 2020

Welcome once again to the power ratings. As always, a very quick refresher: teams’ ratings are an aggregate of their individual gamescores (which are themselves the expected goals for and against adjusted for opponent and location). Without further ado:

Seattle remains the top overall team in the league, while Vancouver sticks to the bottom. Philadelphia moves up (and Toronto moves down) after what rumors will have you believe was a 5-0(!) thrashing of the previous Supporters’ Shield leaders.

Inter Miami maintains its high quality to the expected goals numbers, while struggling to turn that into, like, results. The Bogert Index awards them two Flamingos. FC Cincinnati is terrible in both expected and actual goals, and thus is awarded two Bogert Index white flags. Colorado maintains its grade of one virus. The rest are along a scale pretty tightly related to the “Luck” number.

Playoff picture

The Eastern Conference is starting to get reasonably stratified:

Toronto, Philadelphia, Columbus, and Orlando are locked into the playoffs, while TFC and the Union have already sealed second-round home games. DC is a bad mid-week away from being the first team officially eliminated from the playoffs (a United loss and Miami win/draw or Chicago win and they’re done).

For our purposes, Nashville SC is right on the verge: indeed, a strong mid-week could see the Boys in Gold seal their playoff spot. If NSC wins this evening, an Inter Miami loss and Atlanta United loss or draw tomorrow would see NSC on 28 points, while the maximum either of those teams could reach would be 27 – putting NSC into the playoff field. Atlanta plays at Orlando, which is a tough ask, while Miami’s game at FC Dallas is quite a bit easier, but no lock for a Cranes win.

If Nashville fails to win (boooo), a draw would mean waiting until the weekend to potentially clinch.

Thanks to (many) more games left to play in the West – see Colorado Rapids’ Bogert Index rating above – along with a less-defined “have” and “have not” cohort, things are much more complicated across the Mississippi*.

*Minnesota United plays in St. Paul, and therefore on this side of the Mississippi. Thanks for ruining it, guys.

I think they’ll have to go to PPG here thanks to the Rapids. They have four scheduled games remaining. Even assuming they cram three games into the East’s play-in week (a mid-week after Decision Day, a game on the East play-in date, and a mid-week game leading up to the conference quarters), they come up two games short. Unless the playoffs are shortened (more than one game per week), there’s not space to make ’em all up.

We’ll withhold judgment on any implications going forward until we learn how the league will handle it.

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