E Ratings update: League 2, 17 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.

Carlisle continue to look good but – as we’ll see below – have probably left it too late to barge their way into the play-offs. Accrington‘s surge to the top of the table is a bit mysterious as their performances have been ebbing for a while, while Exeter‘s defeat was less surprising given their own recent decline. Barnet look to be improving but it’s pretty subtle and may not be enough to get them out of danger.

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:

It’s still a two-horse race between Accrington and Luton for the title, with Stanley’s win today keeping their noses in front. Wycombe‘s win keeps them in the hunt for a top three finish and Barnet in relegation danger. Chesterfield‘s draw at Cheltenham didn’t drag them significantly towards safety, but defeated Forest Green and Grimsby remain catchable. The play-off race is still interesting, with Coventry, Lincoln, Swindon and Exeter scrapping it out for the final two places as it stands.