PWP-Pick-List Week 10 - weaving Expected Wins into my predictions this week... / by Drew Olsen

A different approach this week just to see how things go.  Instead of leveraging my PWP Indices this week I'm going to leverage my Expected Wins analysis this week. Last week I was 5/9 so my running total on my PWP-Pick-List is 51%.

As background - most teams have had roughly an equal amount of home and away games - the Expected Wins #'s are the R2 values relative to playing either at home or on the road.  It's not 100% enough games but it'll do as a test of sorts...

The higher the number the more effective the team has been in overall Possession, Passing Accuracy, Penetration, Shots Taken, Shots on Goals and Goals Scored... the R2 below does not take into account the points earned (i.e. - those numbers do not reflect points won or lost in the league table)...

So in quick fashion (offering up only wins or losses - no draws) here's my picks for games beginning Wednesday and ending on Sunday:

Canadian Cup Vancouver visits Toronto:  Expected wins Toronto .9979 at home and Vancouver .9997 on the road.  Have most MLS teams twigged onto the 'mistake driven' attack by Toronto where possession really has no meaning?  I think so...  Nelson has, as I've intuited earlier this year, imported a European style of football to MLS. Chelsea has seen some success but has failed to take the EPL Championship.  Is this system good enough to get Toronto in to the Playoffs? I'm not sure  - for now I pick Vancouver winning. 

Houston at home to Columbus: Expected wins Houston .9993 at home and Columbus .9996 on the road - Columbus would normally be favored but with Will Trapp sitting on a Red Card I pick Houston winning.  Besides - it is still early days for Berhalter's system and Kinnear knows it well enough having just played Portland while also playing against Sporting the last few years...  I think the width of Houston is better...

Canadian Cup - Edmonton at home to Montreal:  Expected wins for Edmonton (no idea) and Montreal .9993 - Montreal wins given their budget and higher quality players... if they don't win - wow - they really aren't any good...

Seattle at home to FC Dallas:  Expected wins Seattle .9992 at home and FC Dallas .9990 on the road - Seattle wins; especially with Watson on a Red Card.

San Jose at home to Colorado:  Expected wins San Jose .9989 at home and Colorado .9996 on the road.  Colorado has done extremely well on the road this year averaging 1.25 goals per game - they have speed and the back-four for San Jose doesn't... why on earth Goodson continues to be a potential selection candidate for the World Cup I don't know...  maybe he proves me wrong this game.  For the USMNT sake I hope so...  for now Colorado wins...

Philadelphia at home to DC United:  Expected wins Philadelphia .9996 at home and DC United .9985 on the road; A rough patch for the Union of late and Hackworth is probably pretty hacked off by now - for no other reason than the Expected wins favors the Union I think Philadelphia wins...

Montreal at home to Sporting KC:  Expected wins Montreal .9979 at home and Sporting KC .9998 on the road - Montreal took advantage of a disjointed Union two weeks ago and they may consider have to play some stronger players to ensure a good result against Edmonton.  That and Sporting probably being very upset about dropping three points in New England sees Sporting KC  winning... besides, with Zusi and Besler being away with the USMNT later this year these early games really are pretty important for them.

New York Red Bulls at home to Chicago Fire:  Expected wins New York .9999 at home and Chicago .9996 on the road -The Red Bulls are almost at full strength - Cahill got minutes in their Red Card tainted win in Dallas and it's not likely they will be shut out against a Fire defense that's really watered down again this year - New York Red Bulls win...

Columbus at home to Vancouver:  Expected wins Columbus .9996 at home and Vancouver .9997 on the road - I'm convinced Columbus can play possession based football but can they do it consistently and can they take on a Vancouver team that is pretty powerful in attack?  I'm not sure they do that this next weekend.  So this might be an upset by many but I pick Vancouver to win...

San Jose at home to FC Dallas:  Expected wins San Jose  .9989 (subject to change given another home game earlier in the week) and FC Dallas (also with another away game earlier in the week) .9990 - I suppose San Jose has to put together a run of wins sooner or later - my guess is that it doesn't happen here - the attack, if Diaz is healthy is just too strong and the back-four, as noted before, is simply too slow - even with Watson having to sit with a Red Card against New York...  (edit - Watson sits against Seattle) FC Dallas wins...  that doesn't mean San Jose can't score in this game - Dallas remain weak at the back and that might be the telling downfall for Dallas again this year when push comes to shove...

Portland at home to LA Galaxy:  Expected wins Portland .9953 at home and LA .9999 on the road; LA has higher Expected Wins but Portland are improving and LA just lost on the road to Colorado - tough game here and if I had to pick a draw this week it would be here.  For now, unfortunately my Expected Wins indicates LA with a win but I will go with Portland to win.

Colorado at home to Chivas USA:  Expected wins Colorado .9983 at home and Chivas .9997 on the road.  Another one going against the grain based upon Expected wins - I just don't see Chivas winning this game no matter how well their attacking data points relate to each other...  besides speed kills and Colorado has speed up top with Brown... Colorado wins

New England at home to Seattle:  Expected wins New England .9990 at home and Seattle .9997 on the road.  A true test for New England in matching their solid defense against one of the most potent attacks in MLS - an early statement game, in my opinion for the Revolution.  They took it to Sporting KC against the odds at home not too long ago and this one will be a test as well.  For now I have more confidence in the attack of Seattle creating and scoring more goals than the defense giving away more goals to New England... Seattle wins...

Houston at home to Real Salt Lake:  Expected wins Houston .9993 at home and Real Salt Lake .9997 on the road.  Jaoa Plata has shown his value this season and his pairing with Saborio is simply dangerous - that coupled with the strong Diamond midfield makes RSL very hard to beat anywhere.  And with Houston having a game earlier this week I see RSL taking three points...

Best, Chris