2019 MLL Playoff Scenarios
August 14, 2019 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) News Release
As the MLL season rolls onto Week 11, the playoff picture is gradually becoming more defined. After Week 10 the standings in the MLL are as follows:
Chesapeake - 7-3
Boston - 6-4
Denver - 6-4
Atlanta - 6-5
Dallas - 3-7
New York - 3-8
This weekend Atlanta was victorious over Boston, Dallas beat New York to move out of last place in the league standings, and Chesapeake won against Denver on Saturday night to claim first place in the league. While no teams can clinch a playoff spot in Week 11, all the top four teams in the standings have a chance to clinch a spot in the playoffs in Week 12.
The current league leaders, Chesapeake, have by far the highest chance of clinching an MLL playoff spot by Week 12. Overall, Chesapeake has a 60.16% chance of clinching when all 128 possible outcomes of the games in the Week 11 and 12 schedules are equally weighted. While Chesapeake has a 60.16% chance of clinching a playoff spot by Week 12, their chances vary drastically based on the results of the Week 11 matchup against Boston. If Chesapeake wins that game in Week 11, they have a 76.56% chance of clinching in Week 12 while with a loss that chance falls to 43.75%.
Although Chesapeake has a good chance of clinching in Week 12 with a win or a loss in Week 11, the other three teams (Boston, Denver, Atlanta) have either no chance or close to no chance to clinch playoffs Week 12 in the case of a Week 11 loss. The one team which has a chance to clinch playoffs with a Week 11 win or loss is the Boston Cannons. When examining the 64 possible outcomes in the league standings following a Week 11 Boston win against Chesapeake, the Cannons have a 28.13% chance to clinch a playoff spot. This chance drops to a miniscule 3.13% chance to clinch a playoff spot if Boston lose to Chesapeake. Denver and Atlanta on the other hand both require a Week 11 win to have any chance of clinching a playoff spot in Week 12. If Denver beats Dallas, then they will have a 37.5% chance of clinching a playoff spot while if Atlanta beats New York they will have a 25% chance of clinching a playoff spot.
Since New York and Dallas are at the bottom of the league standings, wins by Atlanta and Denver drastically increase the chances that all the top four teams have of clinching since they would widen the margin between the records of the top four teams and the bottom two. In fact, when both New York and Dallas lose in Week 12 the percentage that no teams clinch a playoff spot is about 18.75% while the overall percent chance that no teams clinch a playoff spot in Week 12 is 37.5%. With losses from New York and Dallas the chance of no teams clinching a playoff spot in Week 12 is cut in half. Also, in the case that both New York and Dallas lose in Week 11, there is a 12.5% chance that all the top four teams clinch the playoffs in Week 12. The next two weeks will be important in determining if one of Dallas or New York can make a run at a playoff spot and challenge the top 4 teams in the standings.
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