The Power Rankings continue after an epic Labor Day weekend of 30+ games! Today we’ll take look at where the Atlantic Conference stands with only two weeks to go in the regular season. In addition to updated power rankings, we’ll examine results from the model’s 10,000 simulations of the remainder of the season, and how this weekend’s matches might impact the playoff race – remember, only the top two teams in each division will qualify for the post-season.
First up, we’ll take a look at the updated power rankings for the Atlantic Conference – where the Empire State Titans currently stand tallest. This past weekend saw another 11 cross-over matches between the East and the South, with the East going 7-4, just a bit weaker than their 9-2 in the previous set of 11 cross-over matches. The Florida teams scored their first wins over the East, with both Orlando Galaxy and Ft. Lauderdale Lions taking victories over the first-place New Jersey Stallions, who were without the services of Dominique Rikhi and Jessy Singh, both on National Team duty with Team USA.
Overall, the East still dominates these rankings, but the disparity between East and South has been narrowed a bit by this weekend’s results.
Starting in the East, here is the outlook for the rest of the season. The model places the New Jersey Stallions and Empire State Titans as comfortably the best in the division, so with a couple of weeks left, those are the favorites to take the two playoff spots. The model might be a little over-confident in the Stallions, who will have to fight to the playoffs without the star players mentioned above lost to Team USA duty. Empire State is aided by a couple of games in hand and a more generous schedule, with two matches against the last-place New England Eagles left.
After the Stallions and Titans, there are still four teams with a mathematical shot of getting to the playoffs: The Philadelphians, Manhattan Yorkers, DC Hawks, and New Jersey Somerset Cavaliers. The Philadelphians have the edge in the standings and ratings and are most likely to get into the playoff picture, though the Manhattan Yorkers and DC Hawks have an outside shot as well.
There’s a big weekend ahead in the East: the tables below outline all matches involving top three teams from the division. The top four matches are on Saturday and the bottom two are on Sunday. The tables include win probability for each team, and how that match impacts their chances of making the playoffs.
Empire State are solid favorites in their three matches, and the difference between a win and a loss in each match is a ~30-35% swing in their probability of making the playoffs. The match against Manhattan is particularly important, as the Yorkers could knock Empire State out of the playoffs with a late run. The Stallions have just one match on Sunday against the New England Eagles: the Stallions are favorites, and with points in hand, a loss isn’t quite as damaging to them as it would be for Empire State. The Philadelphians have a couple of coin flips on Saturday and can’t really afford a loss at this point, especially to the DC Hawks in the afternoon.
In the South, the playoff picture is much cleaner. The Atlanta Fire and Morrisville Cardinals are well clear in the standings and are all but assured the playoff positions with their NRR advantages. The middle of the table is still up for grabs between the Orlando Galaxy, Ft. Lauderdale Lions, and Atlanta Param Veers.
Atlanta Fire just need a win or a Param Veers loss the rest of the way to formally clinch a play-off spot. Morrisville wrap up their season this weekend with a double header in Atlanta: a win in either match puts them in the playoffs, otherwise they may have to wait until the final week of the season. Of note, the winner of the Fire-Cardinals match on Saturday morning will mathematically clinch a playoff spot, even though both are overwhelmingly likely to qualify regardless.