SEBA Projections

SEBA Projections through July 10

Welcome to the Statistical Extrapolation Bayesian Analyzer Projection System, which is, of course, a tortured gathering of words used to form the SEBA Projection System.

The system consists of a model projecting the probabilities of game results and then a barrage of simulations which account for the remaining luck.  So the probabilities you see below show, essentially, what the odds are of an outcome if the team continues to play like it has been.

Below are the current season forecasts using data from MLS games through July 10, 2016.

Power Rankings

The “Power Rankings” we concoct are the actual “strength” of the team according to competitive expectations. They are computed showing average expected points result if every team in MLS played every team both home and away:


SEBA has the Union moving No. 4 to No. 3 this week surpassing Real Salt Lake. ESPN has the Union at No. 10. Soccer America has the Union at No. 8.

Playoffs probability and more

The following charts show the probabilities for making the playoffs, winning the Supporters’ Shield, winning the MLS Cup, winning the USOC Cup, and qualification for CONCACAF Champions League.


The Union went up to 94.1% from 88.1% last week.


Philadelphia bumped back up to 3.7% from 3.0% in their odds of claiming the Shield.


The Union jumped from 8.1% last week to 9.4%.


Philadelphia improved to 12.6% from 12.1% in their probability to win the US Open Cup. Now that Philadelphia’s only pre-determined match is Away, they are among the less probable teams.


The above shows how the model rates each U.S. league & conference compared to one another. This is based on an all vs. all assessment rather than a top vs. top assessment. MLS is clearly rated as superior to either NASL or USL. USL has a slight edge over NASL though despite NASL still having one team available in the USOC. This also shows the MLS-West outperforming MLS-East and USL-East slightly outperforming USL-West.


Philadelphia’s probability of qualifying for the CCL jumped up from 45.7% to 52.9%. Toronto FC has clinched their spot in the CONCACAF Champions League by winning the Canadian Championship last week.

As a reminder, U.S. teams qualify for the CCL by winning the MLS Cup, winning a conference in the regular season (including Supporters’ Shield), and by winning the U.S. Open Cup (or being a top single-table-performer if the former qualifications don’t count for 4 slots). Canadian teams qualify by winning the Canadian Championship.

Philadelphia finishing

The following shows the probability of various Playoff categories and Philadelphia’s probability of each of them.


The following is a “density” chart showing the relative probability of Philadelphia finishing at the different after-playoffs rankings from 1 to 20.

To repeat myself, the loopy-ness you see in the higher ranks is likely due to the disparity in conference strength. If Philadelphia finishes in a higher round than a Western team, they are automatically ranked higher, but if they finish in the same round, Philadelphia will often be ranked lower (based on regular season single-table finishing).


The following is the list of Philadelphia’s remaining scheduled matches accompanied by result probabilities as predicted by SEBA.


The charts below shows the average results of all the simulations and the probabilities associated with all of the above. The chart is broken up into two parts in order to better fit on your screen.

(Note: CCLAlternate refers to qualifying for CONCACAF Champions League non-traditionally. U.S. teams qualify by winning the MLS Cup, winning the Supporters’ Shield, winning the Conference in the regular season, and by winning the U.S. Open Cup. If a Canadian team wins any of these or a U.S. team wins more than one, the extra slots are filled by top regular season performers.)



Changes Over Time


This chart shows how Philadelphia’s chances at each of the outcomes has evolved over the course of the season. These probabilities were calculated weekly, almost always through Sunday’s matches (except July 4).


This shows the evolution of Philadelphia’s movement within SEBA’s power rankings.


This shows the MLS Eastern Conference’s evolution of power rankings throughout the season.


It should be noted that, with both of these tables, it shows the odds of breaking MLS single-season records, not of holding them. If more than one team would break the same record this season, they would both be represented below.

The following table shows Philadelphia’s odds at breaking various MLS single-season records


The following table shows all single-season records that had at least one simulation break the record. However, it limits the records to show only the most probable team for breaking each record.


USL Projections


Bethlehem remains at 18th and Harrisburg City Islanders declined from 24th to 26th.‘s top 10 rankings do not include either team.


Bethlehem’s probability of making the playoffs declined again from 47.4% to 43.3%. Despite the win, the competition also did well. Harrisburg City’s chances declined to 0.7%.


Both Bethlehem and Harrisburg City have effectively no chance of winning the USL regular season title.


Bethlehem’s probability of winning the USL Championship declined from 1.7% to 1.5%. Harrisburg City’s chances have declined to nearly 0% as it is not impossible but less than 1/15000 probability.



As with MLS, the below density charts show the relative probabilities of Bethlehem and Harrisburg finishing for their final playoff-rank.



The following are the upcoming matches and associated probabilities for Bethlehem and Harrisburg City.



The following tables show the average simulation results. They are divided into two tables to present better to your screen.



Changes Over Time


Above shows the probabilities of various outcomes for Bethlehem over the course of the season.


Above shows the probabilities of various outcomes for Harrisburg over the course of the season.


Above shows the evolution of SEBA’s power rankings for Bethlehem Steel FC and the Harrisburg City Islanders.


NWSL Projections




The following tables are the average simulation results produced by SEBA.






One Comment

  1. Andy Muenz says:

    The bad news is that if you round the predicted Wins and Ties to the nearest integer, the Union finish 3rd or 4th in the east (depending on whether Toronto’s 12.5 wins rounds to 12 or 13).

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