E Ratings update: League 2, 26 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.

Mansfield‘s defeat at Forest Green continued the former’s decline and the latter’s timely rise, both of which are shaping the battles at their respective ends of the league table. Carlisle yet again out-created a team without managing to finish them off, so for all their impressive ratings they need favours from other teams to get back in the promotion race, as we’ll see below.

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:

Automatic promotion is still in the hands of the current top three, although a slip from Wycombe in particular would open the door to a cluster of teams whose chances haven’t evaporated entirely. Lincoln and Swindon are still in contention for a play-off place, but need one of the chasing pack to fall away. Carlisle unfortunately look all but out of the running now after a third successive draw.

Barnet slipped closer to the drop while Chesterfield‘s huge win over Notts County took a huge bite out of their red bar. Free-falling Grimsby look by far the easiest team to catch, with Forest Green‘s win and draws for Port Vale and Morecambe inching that trio away from danger.