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The 2020 MLS playoffs will be determined by points per game—what does this mean for the Colorado Rapids?

2020 continues to throw curveballs.

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Soccer has officially made the decision that the 2020 playoffs will be determined by points per game (PPG) instead of overall accumulated points. Decision Day (Nov. 8) will be the last day of play and the postponed games that have not been rescheduled—five for the Rapids and one for Minnesota United—are canceled.

The reasoning behind the decision was that while all 14 Eastern Conference teams will likely play 23 regular season matches, the 12 Western Conference teams will not finish with the same number of matches played.

What’s does this mean for the Colorado Rapids?

The Rapids are 5-6-4 with 19 points and 1.27 PPG.

Based on the traditional points system, the Rapids would be in 11th place in the Western Conference, below the playoff line.

But by PPG, they are in 8th place, which is the last playoff spot.

That being said, the Rapids still need to pick up some points in these last three games to actually secure a position in the playoffs.

Let’s look at the teams below them: the Vancouver Whitecaps, Real Salt Lake, Houston Dynamo, and LA Galaxy. Colorado’s biggest concerns are probably the Whitecaps and RSL, though the Galaxy fired their head coach today, so they’re a bit of a wild card at the moment. Houston have been eliminated by their October 31st loss to FC Dallas.

Vancouver play the Portland Timbers and LAG. If they:

  • Win both: 1.30 PPG
  • Win one/lose one: 1.17 PPG
  • Lose both: 1.04 PPG
  • Win/draw: 1.22 PPG
  • Lose/draw: 1.01 PPG

RSL play LAG and Sporting. If they:

  • Win both: 1.27 PPG
  • Win one/lose one: 1.14 PPG
  • Lose both: 1.00 PPG
  • Win/draw: 1.18 PPG
  • Lose/draw: 1.01 PPG

LAG play Vancouver, Seattle, and RSL. If they:

  • Win all three: 1.28 PPG
  • Win two/lose one: 1.14 PPG
  • Win one/lose two: 1.00 PPG
  • One win/two draws: 1.01 PPG
  • Two wins/one draw: 1.19 PPG
  • One draw/two losses: 0.90 PPG
  • Two draws/one loss: 0.95 PPG
  • One win/one draw/one loss: 1.05 PPG
  • Lose all three: 0.86 PPG

Colorado play Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, and Houston:

  • Win all three: 1.56 PPG
  • Win two/lose one: 1.39 PPG
  • Win one/lose two: 1.22 PPG
  • Two wins/one draw: 1.44 PPG
  • One win/two draws: 1.33 PPG
  • One draw/two losses: 1.11 PPG
  • Two draws/one loss: 1.17 PPG
  • One win/one draw/one loss: 1.28 PPG
  • Lose all three: 1.06 PPG (not an option if they want to make the playoffs)

The Rapids will not have an easy time beating the Sounders or the Timbers (who are fighting for first place in the West) but a win over Houston is a possibility.

Do you think the Rapids get into the playoffs?