MLS Forecaster: Playoff projections
With the All-Star Game on Wednesday, Major League Soccer reached the unofficial midpoint of the 2015 season, though teams have played anywhere from 18 to 23 games on their 34-match slates. Regardless, the beginning of the league's second half provides a perfect opportunity to unveil the inaugural MLS Forecaster, powered by ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI).
Using data from the last four years, SPI simulates the remainder of the season 10,000 times to forecast how many points a team averages, which then leads to estimating each team's odds of finishing in each position in the standings.
Let's run through the odds for the primary regular-season stakes, starting at the top:...