E Ratings update: League 2, 9 Oct 2016

Here is the latest update of the season to the E Ratings and how they predict the rest of the season will pan out. The rating system is explained here, but in a nutshell it’s based on the combined quality of chances that clubs create and allow, rather than their results.

The attack rating broadly equates to how many goals’ worth of chances a team would create against an average opponent (so higher is better), with the defence rating equivalent to the chances they’d be expected to allow (so lower is better). The overall rating is the difference between the two – effectively the average expected goal difference per match – so a positive number is good and a negative one is bad.

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. 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.

l2-sparklines-2016-10-08

The ratings are definitely settling down now – they’ve pretty much caught up with the changes in strength since last season.

A decent away win keeps Portsmouth atop the rankings, although it’d take a few catastrophic performances before their sizeable lead could be eroded. The same can be said for Morecambe‘s “lead” at the bottom, although they gave as good as they got for most of their defeat to high-flying Carlisle.

A disappointing performance at Blackpool saw Cambridge move down four places despite earning a point – they didn’t shoot for over 45 minutes after taking an early lead.

Exeter were one of only two clubs to rise more than one place, having encouragingly bossed their home match against Grimsby despite failing to find the net.

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 end up, 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:

l2-probabilites-2016-10-09

Plymouth and Portsmouth remain neck-and-neck in the automatic promotion pegging – each looks to have a better than 75% probability of finishing in the top three. There’s a three-way struggle for third place as it stands, with Doncaster having a slight edge over Accrington and Carlisle.

There are no standout candidates for relegation at the moment, with a solid draw for Newport earning them a precious point to keep their chances of dropping into the National League below 40%.