E Ratings update: League 2, 31 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.

Lincoln continue to improve at just the right time, while Mansfield‘s ongoing decline was apparent as they were out-created at home to Accrington. Despite their defeat, Chesterfield have been playing better lately, although (as we’ll see below) it may not be enough to avoid relegation.

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, coupled with defeat for Luton gives leaders Stanley an edge in the title race and leaves promotion looking all but certain both both teams. Wycombe are heavily favoured to nab a top three spot but a stodgy draw with fellow challengers Notts County provides hope for the chasing pack.

We’re still no nearer settling the play-off race, with five teams fighting over four spots and a few more – Swindon and Carlisle – still not out of the running. At the bottom, a precious win for Barnet, combined with a draw for Grimsby that keeps the Mariners close to the drop zone, has breathed a bit of life into the relegation battle.