Monday, September 27, 2010

Wizards Playoff Chances

There is one-sixth of the season left for the Wizards, they have 5 games left starting this Saturday against the New York Red Bulls. And the final 5 games will decide whether the Wizards make the playoffs or not. The Wizards are probably the best placed team still outside the playoffs with a chance to get in.

Toronto FC is only 2 points behind the Wizards and 7 points behind 8th place Colorado having played 1 more game than both of those teams. Their upcoming league game this weekend against Seattle could certainly end their playoff hopes. Toronto basically needs to win this game to keep their chances alive. They lose that game, they're done. Toronto basically needs to get 8 points from their final 4 games to just have a chance, and that's assuming Colorado picks up 0 points and KC doesn't pick up 5 points in their final 5 games. So while Toronto isn't officially done they need a lot of help to get into the playoffs.

The team furthest from the Wizards right now is San Jose who is currently 6 points ahead of KC, but has played 1 less game. Of the three teams ahead of the Wizards they seem the least likely to catch due to that extra game. They have games at home against Chicago, Houston, and Chivas all of which they should be able to pick enough points on to keep the Wizards at bay. And they also travel and play DC. San Jose looks to be safe at this point even though they're only 6 points ahead of KC. Still the Wizards KC game to end the season could be very big, at least on the KC side.

The team most fans were looking at to possibly catch for the playoffs is Seattle, mainly because the Wizards have played 1 less game than the Sounders. While that is true, Seattle's remaining schedule is probably the easiest of the teams. Their four remaining games are against teams currently outside the playoffs, Toronto, @KC, Chivas, and @Houston. And while they do still have CONCACAF Champion's League games, and the US Open Cup final against Columbus to clog their schedule, the games that they have left should give them enough points to stay ahead of the Wizards.

At this point, the team most likely for the Wizards to catch would be the Colorado Rapids. Colorado has one of the tougher remaining schedules with games against Dallas, LA, and Real Salt Lake. Unfortunately for Wizards fans they also have home games against Philadelphia and DC. The Philadelphia game on Wednesday and DC game on Saturday could certainly hurt the Wizards chances since Colorado is currently 5 points clear. Six points would give the Rapids 44 points, if they reach that, the Wizards need to get 10-12 points out of their remaining 15, which will certainly be hard for KC.

As for the Wizards, their schedule is a rough one, they travel to New York this week, then have a busy stretch starting with playing at home against Seattle on the 9th, in Chicago on Tuesday the 12th, and then in New England on the 16th. That stretch is going to be rough on KC and they may well need to get 9 points out of those 3 games at that point to keep in the race. If Colorado wins on Wednesday night, the Wizards more or less know they're going to have to get 10-12 points to make the playoffs before they even take the field on Saturday against New York.

Personally I think that KC is going to need to get 12 points from their final 5 games to make the playoffs. Good news for the Wizards is that they hold the season series on Colorado that could play a role if the two teams tie on points. So where are those 12 points coming from? I don't see KC getting 3 points this weekend in New York, so basically the Wizards are going to need to run the table in their final 4 games to make the playoffs. The hopes are definitely not high at this point, and I'm glad I didn't put a week's pay check on us making the playoffs. It's just hard to see us pulling it off.

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