E Ratings update: National League, 9 Apr 2016

Here is the latest update to the E Ratings (explained here) for the National League 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 week and the numbers in brackets show the ranks for each team’s attack and defence ratings.

NL ratings 2016-04-09

Grimsby remain the best-ranked side in the division, boosted further by their dominant – albeit goalless – performance at home to Eastleigh, who drop a place as a result.

Dover did a great job of containing Wrexham, which sees them rise two places in the rankings and the Welsh side fall.

Woking‘s deterioration continued with a disappointing performance at home to Gateshead, who rose as a result. The Cardinals’ defence has looked vulnerable for some time and they’ll definitely need to address this over the summer.

Despite losing to Tranmere, Torquay‘s strong performance continued their rehabilitation and they now look more like a mid-table side than a relegation struggler. As a long-suffering Gulls fan I’m trying not to get too excited.

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:

NL probabilities 2016-04-09

With Cheltenham winning convincingly at Guiseley while Forest Green and Grimsby both drew, the title is now the Robins’s to lose. We also look to have four of the top five pretty much nailed-on, with Dover‘s win over Wrexham putting them in a commanding position.

The final play-off spot remains up for grabs, with Tranmere and Eastleigh pretty much neck-and-neck as it stands. While Rovers have four more points on the board, the Spitfires have two matches in hand over them and one over nearest challengers Braintree.

The relegation battle continues to entertain (for everyone except fans of the clubs involved, which includes me), with six clubs still capable of occupying the upper two slots in the bottom four. Altrincham‘s spirited draw and Boreham Wood‘s unlucky defeat leave them as the two most likely victims as things stand.

The game looks to be up for both Welling and Kidderminster after the Harriers’ victory: both can still mathematically stay up but would need an almost miraculous combination of results to do so. In the 10,000 simulations I ran, the Wings stayed up in just 13 of them and Kidderminster in 3!