Nine straight wins from Leon have turned the Clausura into a spectacular race at the top. Despite their 29 points, they're only three above Tigres, who tripped up at the Azteca on Saturday. Leon's dominance is doubly impressive considering their mid-market payroll. That's precisely why, this week, we'll look at every team's total squad market value (according to Transfermarkt) to determine whether they're over or underperforming in the Clausura 2019.
Total squad value: $33.86 million. Los Esmeraldas rank as Mexico's 11th most expensive team, which, as mentioned, makes their impressive streak even gaudier. Led by the tournament's top goal scorer Angel Mena ($2.28 million) and goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota ($2.62 million), the team has vaulted into a contender for the title this season.
Total squad value: $83.68 million. Defensive midfielder Edson Alvarez ($8.55 million) is in line to become Mexico's latest European export, if statements made by his coach are to be believed. Just a few months after Diego Lainez made an eight-figure transfer to the Spanish league, Alvarez will be bolstered by a strong performance this season, including his role in the 3-0 win on Saturday versus UANL Tigres.
Total squad value: $29.53 million. Another team with a tiny payroll making a big splash this season. Winger Brian Fernandez ($2.28 million) has been an utter steal for the Hidrorrayos, scoring 14 goals in 26 games dating back to the Apertura 2018. With their recent surge, Necaxa sits fifth in the league, just two points off third place.
Total squad value: $57.46 million. Though offers from European clubs have cooled somewhat, offensive centerpiece Victor Guzman ($8.55 million) remains a big part of why Los Tuzos have been successful this season. Their 3-2 win over Toluca has pushed them into playoff contention with 20 points on the season.
Total squad value: $92.91 million. By far, Los Rayados boast the league's highest market value. Due to their inflated payroll, expectations reign high in Monterrey, and their third-place standing at the moment gives them a good chance to make a run for the title. Notwithstanding, their latest result, a 2-2 draw against Cruz Azul was disappointing.
Total squad value: $59.62 million. After a disappointing start to the season, Cruz Azul has rebounded in a major way, winning three of their last five. Usually reliant on big foreign talent, it bears noting that the three players with the largest economic worth on Cruz Azul's team are Mexican: Orbelin Pineda ($8.55 million), Roberto Alvarado ($5.70 million) and Elias Hernandez ($3.99 million).
Total squad value: $81.74 million. Always among Mexico's most expensive payrolls, Tigres' top three players in that regard (Carlos Salcedo, Guido Pizarro, Javier Aquino) dwarfs two entire teams (Veracruz, Morelia). That should provide some comfort for a quick upswing after their 3-0 drubbing at the Estadio Azteca.
Total squad value: $36.82 million. On Sunday against Chivas, Pumas picked up their first victory since February, keeping whatever faint hopes of a playoff run alive. Under Bruno Marioni, the team has shown more fight, but results have been middling at best.
Total squad value: $54.38 million. Despite having a deep roster, Santos is seemingly fixated on winning the CONCACAF Champions League ahead of the Liga MX this season. Their showdown against Tigres in the continental semifinals is highly anticipated -- in their last four winner-take-all meetings, Santos has eliminated UANL every time.
Total squad value: $31.07 million. Atlas' most expensive player is defender Omar Gonzalez ($2.28 million), a solid performer since coming over from Pachuca. Two of the next six players on that list are injured, a good reason why the Guadalajara club has struggled mightily in the Clausura 2019 thus far.
Total squad value: $45.49 million. Despite a payroll in the top half, Chivas' season has been an absolute disaster from the start. Jose Cardozo has been fired after a string of disappointing results against rival teams, and Alberto Coyote will have a short time to turn things around for a potential playoff run in what's left of this season.
Total squad value: $36.71 million. Faced with a rebuild following a pair of playoff appearances in 2018, Toluca's Clausura 2019 season has been riddled with inconsistency and disappointing results in the domestic league as well as the CONCACAF Champions League. Amazingly, they're still just five points off the playoff pace with five games remaining.
Total squad value: $29.71 million. Only three teams have a higher total market value than Puebla, which makes their performance this season a surprise. Under new coach Jose Luis Sanchez, Los Camoteros have been nearly unbeatable. The team has lost just once in last seven games with "Chelis".
Total squad value: $34.77 million. 18-year-old attacking midfielder Marcel Ruiz has seen his value skyrocket after a great rookie year ($4.56 million). However, the team has been slow to react after a horrid start that saw manager Rafael Puente fired early on. In their last five games, Los Gallos have gained seven points... for a total of seven points on the season.
Total squad value: $33.40 million. Still alive in the Liga MX and the Copa MX, Tijuana is on a shortlist of clubs that can aspire to a double this season. Whether that's realistic or not, it's impressive to see such a quick turnaround with manager Oscar Pareja despite inheriting basically the same roster as seasons past.
Total squad value: $25.42 million. Only two players on their squad are judged to be worth over $2 million (Aldo Rocha and Sebastian Ferreira). Filling out the team are several bit players who have underperformed throughout the entire season.
Total squad value: $23.14 million. The specter of relegation long gone, Lobos' form has relaxed over the last few games, as evidenced by their crushing 4-0 defeat to Puebla in their local derby on Sunday. However, it behooves manager Francisco Palencia to get his team back to winning, as they'll be in the relegation fight again next season.
Total squad value: $23.26 million. The league's (second) cheapest payroll never stood a chance. Twelve matches in, Los Tiburones have still not won a single game, and can only stay up with a sizable payment to the rest of the league's owners.