E Ratings update: League 2, 11 Mar 2018

Here is the latest update of 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.

Luton may have lost to Accrington this weekend, but the performances of these two teams are sliding in different directions. The Hatters out-created their visitors and have been looking strong despite their stuttering form, while Stanley seem to be grinding out results.

Coventry and Exeter seem to be stalling so both could miss out on the play-offs if they can’t stop the rot, with improving Carlisle and Lincoln poised to take advantage.

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:

Accrington‘s win at Luton has eroded the Hatters’ advantage and they now look to be neck and neck at the front of the race for automatic promotion. Stanley’s tougher fixtures and lower ratings mean that they’re narrowly the less fancied of the two for the title, but in their current form it’s tough to bet against them.

There’s still plenty of life in the wider promotion race too: while there are seven teams with a greater than 50% chance of securing a top seven finish, the trio of Lincoln, Swindon and Carlisle are keeping the pressure on.

Defeats for Barnet and Chesterfield mean they remain the favourites for the drop, although it’d only take a few results to drag Grimsby and Forest Green – who also both lost – back into danger.