E Ratings update: League 2, 15 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. Bear in mind that the changes above will also include the effect of the weekend games.

Besides long-term ratings leaders Portsmouth and actual table leaders Doncaster, Exeter and Mansfield look to be the two most dominant chance creators in the division.

Despite being close to cementing automatic promotion to League 1, Plymouth are going off the boil big time, although as we’ll see below they’ve probably done enough to secure a top three finish already.

Despite upsetting Mansfield to remain in the play-off hunt, Colchester also look to be in decline, which could undermine their chances of a late upward surge.

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:

The top three of Doncaster, Portsmouth and Plymouth look to be in really strong positions now and are strong favourites to go up automatically.

Luton, Carlisle and Exeter are likelier than not to secure at least a play-off place, with Stevenage and Blackpool the closest challengers for the final top seven berth.

Newport‘s win sees Leyton Orient replace them as the likeliest side to be relegated, although both remain in deep trouble.