Liga MX Power Rankings: Leon keep top spot as playoffs near
Only three teams have been eliminated from playoff contention as the Liga MX regular season nears its end. That's right, Lobos BUAP fans -- technically, you still have a chance at silverware. But really. This week, we'll look at each team's chances to win the Liguilla crown, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Here are the Power Rankings after Week 14:
Chances of winning the title: 16 percent. Ignacio Ambriz's team has been unstoppable in the Clausura 2019, but there's still quite a bit of skepticism that they'll be able to win the league. From a strictly statistical standpoint, each of the eight teams that qualify for the playoffs have a 12.5 percent chance of winning it all. Leon, with their 11-game winning streak in tow, is given just 3.5 percent more even at this late stage.
Chances of winning the title: 7 percent. Nine goals in one game will give anyone confidence. At home, Pachuca destroyed Veracruz 9-2 last Saturday. In fifth place with just three games remaining, it appears Pachuca will be in the mix for the playoffs, though they still have games against Necaxa and Leon left on their regular-season slate.
Chances of winning the title: 28 percent. The overwhelming favorite to win it all. Tigres can get their first-ever international double if they best Monterrey in the upcoming CONCACAF Champions League final and follow through on the projections to dominate the league. The 3-0 win over Lobos BUAP last weekend basically assured their spot in the top three to end the regular season.
Chances of winning the title: 16 percent. Though their form has dropped off of late domestically, Monterrey, like their crosstown rivals, harbor hopes of winning two trophies before the semester is over. Routing Santos Laguna 4-0 on Sunday was a good way to communicate to other teams that they're up to the challenge.
Chances of winning the title: 4 percent. News of Brian Fernandez's impending transfer to the Portland Timbers has leaked, potentially muddling Necaxa's run in the postseason. With fairly average talent across the squad, coach Memo Vazquez has cobbled together a winning side that could play spoiler to someone in the first round of the playoffs. Beyond the first round? That seems unlikely.
Chances of winning the title: 15 percent. The model is somewhat confident in Miguel Herrera's ability to make another postseason run. Club America has been riddled by injuries this season, a situation clearly on display during their 0-0 draw last weekend against Cruz Azul. The good news? They're close to getting Nico Castillo and Oribe Peralta back for their stretch run.
Chances of winning the title: 9 percent. Much like their Clasico Joven rivals, Cruz Azul has been hit hard by injuries. Though it looks like Paraguay defender Pablo Aguilar (who picked up a knock on Saturday) will be OK for the upcoming matches and beyond, Cruz Azul's lack of depth makes them a suspect candidate at best to reach the final as they did last season.
Chances of winning the title: Less than 1 percent. After a solid start, Santos Laguna has imploded, finally coming apart at Monterrey on Sunday. They still harbor a flicker of hope with games against Queretaro and Pumas, but with just 16 points they no longer depend solely on their results.
Chances of winning the title: Eliminated. On Saturday, Morelia was able to barely get past a Chivas team that will rely on their old manager Tomas Boy to steady the ship after a dismal Clausura season. Monarcas has had a similarly bad season, and relegation beckons if they can't get off to a better start in the Apertura 2019.
Chances of winning the title: Less than 1 percent. A gritty 1-0 win over Xolos kept Pumas' fading hopes alive. The bad news is that their three remaining games are against teams also in the fight for a Liguilla spot, meaning they'll have to absolutely pull out all the stops (and wait for other results) to have a shot.
Chances of winning the title: Less than 1 percent. At home against Necaxa, Atlas really needed a win to maintain any playoff thoughts intact. Instead, they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Rayos, and now are virtually out of it with three matches remaining.
Chances of winning the title: Less than 1 percent. Facing an already-eliminated Gallos squad, you'd figure Toluca would have some fight left in them to push through and grab the necessary three points. They didn't, and now face a tough climb, being four points out of the final playoff spot with nine points remaining.
Chances of winning the title: Less than 1 percent. The loss against Leon derailed their hopes of staying in the top eight after the weekend. They still have two winnable games remaining (and a date with Tigres), which means they can still sneak in.
Chances of winning the title: 3 percent. After a huge victory in Tijuana against Club America last week, Xolos dropped a tough game to another Mexico City team in Pumas. The silver lining is that Xolos has the easiest schedule among the remaining contenders: Lobos BUAP, Monarcas and Puebla.
Chances of winning the title: Less than 1 percent. Guadalajara has now dropped four games in a row. Had they won at least half of those games, they'd be one point out of a playoff spot. The reality is the season is likely over for the 12-time league champions.
Chances of winning the title: Less than 1 percent. Even though falling short of a playoff run might seem disappointing, Paco Palencia's side achieved their mission of staying up by their own merits. They'll want to keep adding points to pull them away from the bottom as the 2019-20 season kicks off next summer.
Chances of winning the title: Eliminated. Kudos to Victor Manuel Vucetich, who took over a moribund team and has been able to get a few results. One of just three teams mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, Queretaro can gear up for the Apertura starting now.
Chances of winning the title: Eliminated. Always in the news for the wrong reasons. Just a few days after a historic 9-2 drubbing, FIFA asked Liga MX to strip Veracruz of six points (they have four on the season) due to an international dispute over a transfer payment.