Red Line Report: Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes battling for No. 6 seed after big wins

If the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders played in the Eastern Conference, each would sit well above the red line – cruising with a comfortable No. 4 seed.

But this year's Western Conference is an intense competition, and these two teams are tied for the West's No. 6 seed (38 points), with the Quakes holding a game in hand on the Sounders.

Each won their Heineken Rivalry Week game, with the Quakes beating a dangerous LA Galaxy side as Seattle handed the Portland Timbers a 2-1 defeat. Both teams remain at home this week: San Jose hosts the Philadelphia Union and the Sounders await a Sebastian Giovinco-less Toronto FC side.

Does your team sit above or below the red line? Check out the current standings and the new 2015 playoff rules. Then take a gander below at the current playoff scenarios if the season ended after Week 26.

EASTERN CONFERENCE (seeds in parentheses)

Byes to Conference Semifinals:

(1) D.C. United, (2) New York Red Bulls

Conference Knockout Round Matches:

(3) Columbus Crew SC vs. (6) Orlando City SC

(4) Toronto FC vs. (5) New England Revolution

WESTERN CONFERENCE (seeds in parentheses)

Byes to Conference Semifinals:

(1) LA Galaxy, (2) Vancouver Whitecaps

Conference Knockout Round Matches:

(3) FC Dallas vs. (6) Seattle Sounders

(4) Sporting Kansas City vs. (5) Portland Timbers

Will the playoff matchups wind up this way after the final weekend of the season. The table below illustrates each team's remaining matches and the strength of schedule.

The strength of schedule metric takes into account the average points per game (PPG) each team's oppponents earn at home and on the road. The lower the PPG, the easier the schedule.

For example, if FC Dallas traveled to play the LA Galaxy, who have averaged 2.5 PPG at home, and then hosted the Vancouver Whitecaps, who have averaged 1.53 PPG on the road, their opponents PPG would be 2.02.

Road to the Playoffs
Team Games Remaining Strength of Schedule Rank (Opp. PPG)
Eastern Conference
D.C. United 6 (@COL, CLB, @MTL, NYC, CHI, @CLB) 3 (1.23)
New York Red Bulls 9 (CHI, @NE, @POR, ORL, CLB, MTL, @TOR, PHI, @CHI) T-5 (1.26)
Columbus Crew SC 7 (DAL, @PHI, @DC, POR, @NY, @TOR, DC) 15 (1.51)
Toronto FC 9 (@SEA, NE, @NYC, COL, CHI, PHI, NY, CLB, @MTL) 2 (1.13)
New England Revolution 7 (ORL, @TOR, NY, @MTL, PHI, @CHI, MTL, @NYC) 4 (1.24)
Orlando City SC 7 (@NE, SKC, @CHI, @NY, MTL, NYC, @PHI) 8 (1.38)
Montreal Impact 11 (CHI, @LA, @SJ, NE, CHI, DC, @ORL, @NY, @COL, @NE, TOR) 12 (1.45)
New York City FC 7 (@DAL, TOR, SJ, @VAN, @DC, @ORL, NE) 14 (1.49)
Chicago Fire 8 (@MTL, @NY, ORL, @MTL, @TOR, NE, @DC, NY) 19 (1.58)
Philadelphia Union 7 (@SJ, CLB, HOU, @NE, @TOR, @NY, ORL) 18 (1.54)
Western Conference
LA Galaxy (MTL, @RSL, DAL, @SEA, POR, @SKC) 11 (1.43)
Vancouver Whitecaps (COL, SEA, NYC, @SJ, DAL, @DAL, HOU) T-5 (1.26)
FC Dallas (@CLB, NYC, @SKC, @LA, HOU, @VAN, VAN, @RSL, SJ) 20 (1.62)
Sporting Kansas City (@POR, @ORL, DAL, @HOU, SEA, @POR, @SJ, COL, LA) 9 (1.41)
Portland Timbers (SKC, NY, @CLB, SKC, @RSL, @LA, COL)  T-16 (1.52)
Seattle Sounders (TOR, @SJ, @VAN, @SKC, LA, @HOU, RSL) 13 (1.46)
San Jose Earthquakes (PHI, SEA, MTL, @NYC, RSL, VAN, SKC, @DAL) 1 (1.09)
Houston Dynamo (RSL, @PHI, SKC, COL, @DAL, SEA, @VAN) 7 (1.27)
Real Salt Lake (@HOU, LA, @SJ, @COL, POR, DAL, @SEA) 10 (1.42)
Colorado Rapids (@VAN, DC, @TOR, @HOU, RSL, MTL, @SKC, @POR) T-16 (1.52)

Do you think your team will make the playoffs? Let us know why in the comments below.

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