E Ratings update: League 1, 6 Mar 2016

Here is the latest update to the E Ratings (explained here) for League 1 and how they predict the rest of the season will pan out.

The graphic below lists each club in descending order of their overall E Rating and shows how this – along with their individual attack and defence ratings – have changed over the past 30 league matches. This is effectively an “alternative league table” based on each club’s underlying performances rather than their actual results.

The red and green arrows indicate how the overall rankings have moved in the past month and the numbers in brackets show the ranks for each team’s attack and defence ratings.

L1 sparklines 2016-03-05

Burton remain the division’s best-rated side but Millwall are improving at the right time and look set to claim at least a play-off finish.

With both Walsall and Gillingham looking vulnerable, the likes of Barnsley and Bradford stand a decent chance of making the top six despite looking significantly off the pace earlier this season.

The ratings had Scunthorpe down as a dark horse earlier in the season and it looks like they’re on the up again, although even winning their game in hand would leave them five points adrift of sixth.

Coventry and Rochdale met yesterday but neither created much besides Dale’s penalty to continue their mutual decline in the ratings.

Despite holding Burton yesterday – the latest of many battling draws achieved in the past few months – Crewe‘s underlying performances have barely improved, meaning that relegation remains the most likely outcome for them this season.

Predicting the rest of the season

Below I’ve used each club’s current ratings and those of their remaining opponents to predict how the rest of the season could play out. Each of the remaining fixtures has been simulated thousands of times, using the current E Ratings to generate probabilities for where each club will finish.

This graphic shows the cumulative probability of where each club could finish, in descending order of average points won. You can think of the ordering of the teams down the left hand side as a “best guess” of the final league table, with the coloured bars showing the relative likelihood of each club ending up in a certain section of the table:

L1 probabilities 2016-03-05

Burton remain more likely than not to secure automatic promotion thanks to a cushion of nine points plus a game in hand over third-placed Gillingham. The five point advantage held by Wigan, combined with their strong ratings, look sufficient to give them a decent grip on second place for the time being.

Both the Gills and fourth-placed Walsall are under threat from a large pack of play-off challengers, so it looks like we’ll see an entertaining and dramatic finale to the promotion race this season.

At the bottom, both Crewe and Colchester need something akin to a miracle if they’re to escape the drop into League 2. Oldham and Blackpool look the most likely to join them as things stand, with both having a slightly greater than 60% chance of remaining in the bottom four, but a cluster of teams above them could all yet be dragged into the mix.