Saturday, April 24, 2010

Luchametric MLS Preview: Houston and Seattle to Win; Crew to Show Us Who Are Ya?


The numbers have been updated in time for today's fixtures, and here's a few talking points as you pub it up before today's matches.

Seattle at Toronto - Seattle are third in the single table with 8 pts.  Expectations for the Sounders are high around the league and the loss to NY early on at home has some questioning whether the team will be as dangerous as last season.  The books have the odds on this match at +180, and earlier in the week the odds were even higher.  Toronto has the worst GD in the league at -3.  Seattle drew with Dallas on Thursday but did so due to 2 Dallas PKs, one awarded late.  Seriously, this game is Seattle's to lose.  Anybody who thinks they aren't tough is blowing smoke.  And Toronto is a true bottom-feeder this year.

Houston at Chicago -  Chicago has scored one goal at home this year, and their GD overall is 0.  They produce a lot of SHT and SOGs, but they give up a lot as well. Houston is a much more balanced club, but have only scored one game on the road.  Expect a low-scoring game, with Houston absorbing Chicago's wide-open style of play. but Houston getting limited scoring chances. However, in our measure of Quality SOGs, Houston is the best in the league at 4.97 Goals Above Average, with a ridiculous 67% of their SOGs resulting in goals.  That rate will not continue, but it tells us that they don't need many chances to put it in the back of the net.  At +180, Houston is well worth the punt.

RSL at Crew -  We were very, very high on the Crew at the start of year, but it feels like they haven't played in months, and we simply don't have enough numbers or clear results to know if our sense that C-Bus is as good as we thought at the start of March is warranted.  We do know that RSL is a mid-table team. Their GD is +4, and they've scored 5 goals on the road, but three of those were at San Jose.  And they've earned just 4 PTS in 4 games overall and are once again on pace to place about 8th in the league.  The Crew will be rusty, but if they can settle in without giving up any goals, this game is one they should win.

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