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Analyzing how many points will be needed to reach the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs

It's now official: eight teams will make the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference.

With the expanded field — seven teams made the playoffs in each conference last season — what point total should teams be shooting for?

     STANDINGS: Sporting KC atop the West 

First, some caveats: There are more teams in MLS than ever before (26) and teams are playing very uneven schedules. But looking over the past three years can give us an idea.

Season 8th West PPG
2017 1.32
2018 1.38
2019 1.29

Averaging those seasons out, a team would need 1.33 points per game (ppg) to finish 8th in the West. Over 23 games, that would come to 30.59 total points in the West. 

Teams are, of course, playing just 23 games this year instead of the usual 34. Fewer matches means more uncertainty. Any small hot streak or cold streak could have a significant impact on the final standings. The race to the playoffs is already on.

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