FiveThirtyEight runs rule over Round One of MLS Cup Playoffs

After more than six months and 408 games, it's time for the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs. 

Almost half the league has been eliminated after the regular season, while LAFC and NYCFC have earned byes into the Conference Semifinals, and there are six matches on tap after a quick international break. But it's never too early to start seeing who has the advantage to reach the next round. 

In short? FiveThirtyEight’s latest projections favor the hosts. Hosting a Round One playoff game, as assumed all season long, is pretty important. 

Eastern Conference

Out East, Atlanta United have the highest probability to advance, at 78% over the New England Revolution. The Five Stripes beat the Revs 3-1 on Decision Day presented by AT&T. 

Toronto FC are given the edge over D.C. United with a 75% likelihood to get to the next round as TFC return to the playoffs for the first time since winning MLS Cup in 2017.

Lastly, the Philadelphia Union are favored over I-95 neighbors New York Red Bulls with a 70% probability to advance to the Conference Semis.

Western Conference

As for the West, each game is a bit closer to 50/50.

The Seattle Sounders have been given a 66% likelihood to advance at the expense of FC Dallas, who went to CenturyLink Field last month and earned a draw. Real Salt Lake have the same probability to advance past the Portland Timbers at home. 

Minnesota United are favored over Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy, with a 62% probability to win the first playoff game in the club's MLS history. 


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