E Ratings update: League 2, 4 Mar 2017

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 – has 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.


You can see how the model assessed the latest round of matches here.

Mansfield are shooting up the ratings lately after a string of impressive wins while Carlisle‘s rating is tanking as their attack goes off the boil.

Some better results for Accrington weren’t wholly unexpected as their ratings weren’t dropping at an alarming rate – their poor previous form owed more to some unlucky finishing.

Stevenage‘s performances have been improving lately but not to the extent where you’d assume that a play-off spot is suddenly a given.

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:


They may have been held to a draw, but Doncaster‘s promotion is still in their own hands thanks to the repeated slips of teams who could displace them from the top three.

Despite another setback, Portsmouth‘s strong ratings keep them as the likeliest club to grab third place. The final play-off place remains incredibly tough to call, with seven clubs having between a 10% and 33% chance of claiming it.

At the bottom, Newport‘s heavy home defeat by Leyton Orient leaves them looking all but nailed on for relegation. Orient themselves remain likeliest to join them despite that win, thanks to Hartlepool‘s defeat of Exeter.