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The playoff odds are still (slightly) in Columbus Crew SC's favor

Crew SC has stumbled in the past two weeks, but the odds are (just) still in their favor to host a playoff game.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus is still overwhelmingly likely to make the playoffs. They must get one point in their last two games or Orlando City fails to win out and Crew SC are in. It would take an epic collapse to drop out of the playoffs. The next questions are a little murky. Where will Columbus finish and will they host a playoff game. There, the odds are still slightly in their favor.

Two sites track the playoff hunt. Sports Club Stats and American Soccer Analysis run playoff forecasts off through Monte Carlo simulations. SCS has limited weighting for home or away games. ASA will weigh strength of schedule in addition to venue. The results for this week are similar, with Crew SC a near lock to make the playoffs, but dropping to the bottom half of the playoff slate.

The best estimates from American Soccer Analysis see Crew SC finishing in fourth, with fifth the second most common result. The race for first is all but lost.

ASA 10-6

While Sports Club Stats is less optimistic about Crew SC down the stretch. The most likely finishing spot is fifth and traveling to the fourth place finisher.

SCS 10-6

Both models strongly predict that Crew SC will make the playoffs with both finishing with results over 99.5%. The chances are a little more mixed on the question of hosting a playoff game. It's better than an even chance that the team will host a playoff game. American Soccer Analysis is slightly more optimistic that Columbus finishes in the top four while Sports Club Stats still sees that as a greater than even chance.

As to the question of a top two seed, Crew SC's late slide has hampered those chances. ASA's more optimistic model only puts that slightly over 15%.


It is interesting to note that American Soccer Analysis is consistently more positive of Crew SC's fortunes than Sports Club Stats. That takes into account prior results, strength of schedule, and ASA's ranking model. ASA's ranking model is more bullish than Columbus has performed recently. The full detail is on their Power Ranking section.

Any way you look at the numbers, they are are fairly stark. The two losses have been damaging to Crew SC's playoff positioning. A real possibility of finishing second or third was fumbled and now they'll be challenged to host a knockout game. The odds of MLS Cup are looking a bit long now.