Are the Seattle Sounders marching to a repeat as MLS Cup champions, making it three titles in the last five years? The odds are in their favor, according to the latest predictions from the stats gurus at FiveThirtyEight.com.
The Sounders are given a 40% chance of lifting MLS Cup on Dec. 12, and a 72% chance of making the championship game regardless of a win or loss. The other favorites are Columbus Crew SC, who were given a 29% probability of winning MLS Cup and 54% chance of reaching the game.
Those two front-runners are borne out of being the top seeds remaining in their respective conferences. No. 2-seeded Seattle will host No. 4-seeded Minnesota United FC this coming Monday for the Western Conference Final (9:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info), while No. 3-seeded Columbus will host No. 8-seeded New England Revolution on Sunday for the Eastern Conference Final (3 pm ET | TV & streaming info).
That leaves Minnesota and New England as the underdogs, though both clubs are in fine form and coming off statement victories. The Revs are given a 17% chance of winning MLS Cup and 46% chance of making the game, while the Loons have a probability of 14% of winning MLS Cup and 28% of reaching that stage.
So are we trending toward a Seattle-Columbus final? The stats suggest as much, though the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs have included plenty of surprises. At this rate, you can’t count out a Minnesota-New England matchup, which would see the winner lift their first MLS Cup in club history.
If there's a Seattle-Columbus final, it'd be a repeat of when those clubs met in Week 2. They battled to a 1-1 draw on March 7 at Lumen Field, which came shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a four-month pause of MLS games. The MLS is Back Tournament and season restart followed suit, so they're remarkably different teams now in December.
Check out the full projections here, and digest the current odds below:
FiveThirtyEight: Chance of winning MLS Cup
- Seattle Sounders - 40%
- Columbus Crew SC - 29%
- New England Revolution - 17%
- Minnesota United FC - 14%
FiveThirtyEight: Chance of making MLS Cup
- Seattle Sounders - 72%
- Columbus Crew SC - 54%
- New England Revolution - 46%
- Minnesota United FC - 28%