Monday, May 04, 2009

Early Unbalanced

One thing that people need to consider when looking at the MLS standings is the number of home and away games played. Given that the all time home field advantage in MLS is about 0.67 PPG, that can be a pretty significant factor in a team's record this early on if their schedule is unbalanced. If a team has played 6, 7, or 8 games and they have two more home games than away or vice versa, than that's a big deal. Just look at last year's San Jose Earthquakes, who had a tremendously unbalanced home/away slate. Sure, they added Darren Huckerby among others, but they finished the year with 9 of 13 games at home (right when they went on a hot streak).

The five teams this year who have had a reasonably unbalanced schedule so far are as follows:

NE, NY - These two teams have played two more times away than home. That means they should be better than their records indicate. Now that doesn't necessarily mean that they are good teams. Just that their schedule may be hurting them a bit. For example, if you went by their home and away PPGs and gave them a balanced schedule, then NY should have 6.12 points instead of 5.

LA, SJ, TOR - These teams have played two more home games than away, or in the case of the Quakes it's three more which really doesn't bode well for them.


Comments on "Early Unbalanced"


Blogger Dilly said ... (1:27 AM, May 06, 2009) : 

Just wanted to tell you that your blog is fantastic. Stuff like this is always interesting and makes for compelling reading.

Keep up the good work.


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