MLS Table Talk | The Baying Hounds Approach

And here come the baying hounds of the Playoff Pack, ready to pull the Goats back into the morass from which they had broken! Chivas' lead is down to six points, but the Fire have a game in hand, which they will play this weekend, and they play Chivas tomorrow evening, so we could be knotted up at the top by the time next week's Table Talk hits the interwebs. The Fire have opened a small lead above five teams within a point of each other, who in turn have a small lead over the Rapids, clinging desperately to the final spot in the Playoff Pack. Around the margins sniff five teams within two points of each other and two to four points of the Rapids, while down at the bottom sulk the lowly Quakes and Starcows. Talking Points?
  • You Down With PPG? The points per game table is eerily aligned with the points table given that teams might have played anywhere from nine to eleven games apiece. The only exception? The Dynamo, whose 1.7 ppg would put them third on the table, rather than sixth.
  • Just Win Baby! In this season of draws, wins are even more valuable. Witness the fact that the top nine sides all boast three or more wins, with Chivas' remarkable seven putting them well ahead...for now.
  • It's in the Net! Likewise, the number of goals scored seems to be indicative of league position, with the only outliers being the 12th ranked Crew at 1.3 and the 6th ranked Dynamo at 1.2. The Fire lead the way at 1.7, while the Revs, Bulls, and Dallas linger below a goal per game at 0.9.
  • You Shall Not Pass! The difference between first and last? How about Chivas setting the defensive pace by letting in only one goal every other game (0.5) while the league-leakiest Quakes surrender over two per game (2.1)?
  • Making a Difference? That same pair are reflected in the goal difference chart, with Chivas the class of the league on +9 and San Jose clocking in at a miserable -10.
  • Ties Unlimited? Apparently the rash of draws infecting MLS doesn't seem to have one specific focus. The Fire (6 draws) and United (7 draws) sit atop the East, while the Crew (6 draws) are tied for last in the same conference. And the tie specialists, the Galaxy (8 draws), are lurking outside of the playoff positions as well. It is notable that the two sides with the fewest draws (RSL and San Jose, on two draws apiece) are both currently on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs.
  • Biggest Loser? It's no strange thing to see the bottom three leading the league with six losses each, but isn't it odd to see RSL, who have just one less loss, hanging about just below the playoff places? Parity Police indeed!
So that's what I can glean from the numbers. Anything else you see that's of interest? Let's hear it in the comments.

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