E Ratings update: League 2, 2 Apr 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 rating is closing in on Portsmouth‘s after another strong performance – the pair of them are comfortably the best-rated sides in the division.

Plymouth look set for a top three position (see below) but their underlying performances are continuing to decline.

Notts County‘s win over Colchester continued both the Magpies’ rise and the Us’ decline in the ratings.

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 look unassailable at the moment but there remains plenty of life in the play-off race. While there are four clubs with a greater than 50% chance of securing a spot, Blackpool still look to be in the hunt.

At the bottom things are looking very bad for Leyton Orient and despite a home win for Newport they’re still the heavy favourites to join Orient in the National League next season. Hartlepool‘s home defeat means that they’re still vulnerable if either of the current bottom two puts a run together.