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FiveThirtyEight: Atlanta will be biggest threat to Toronto's repeat quest

Safe to say Atlanta United won't be flying beneath anyone's radar this season.

The number crunchers over at FiveThirtyEight.com have released their initial projections for the 2018 MLS season, where they rate Toronto FC as a slight but unsurprising favorite to repeat as MLS Cup champions.

The second-most likely to win the crown? They say it's an Atlanta side that made plenty of noise en route to making the MLS Cup Playoffs in their expansion 2017 season, before adding Darlington Nagbe and Ezequiel Barco to the payroll this winter.

FiveThirtyEight gives Atlanta a 13 percent chance of taking the title and an even larger 16 percent chance at winning the Supporters' Shield. By comparison, the site gives Toronto a 21 percent chance to win the Cup and a 28 percent to win the Shield, and places the Seattle Sounders as the third-most likely team for both honors at a 12 percent chance to win each.

Were Atlanta to win the Cup in their sophomore season, they'd be the quickest franchise to reach that plateau since the Houston Dynamo won the 2006 crown in their second year in town, and they had a previous history as the San Jose Earthquakes.

Also of note, FiveThirtyEight are somewhat buying into the LA Galaxy's rebuild, rating them as the ninth-best team in the league with a 54 percent chance of making the playoffs. They give crosstown rival LAFC a 50-50 shot to make the postseason in their expansion campaign.

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