E Ratings update: League 2, 26 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 midweek games.

Doncaster‘s ratings continued to improve as they out-created Plymouth despite losing in their top-of-the-table clash on Sunday. Mansfield‘s stock also rose further after a strong away performance.

Carlisle‘s collapse goes on after a frustrating home defeat and despite Colchester defeating Luton the model hasn’t been convinced by them lately.

Leyton Orient‘s ratings are still nosediving after an anonymous defeat at Crawley, although the margin seemed to flatter their hosts.

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 automatic promotion contest looks to be all but settled after another Portsmouth win coupled with defeat for Luton and a draw for Stevenage.

However the play-off battle looks set to drag on for some time yet, with Carlisle‘s position still salvageable and a cluster of outsiders also not out of the running.

It would take a serious twist to reignite the relegation battle, with Cheltenham and Hartlepool the only clubs that look in any danger at all of being dragged into the bottom two.