E Ratings update: League 1, 22 Apr 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.

Wigan have looked too good for the third tier all season, with Blackburn their closest challengers, so the chart above and the one below make sense when viewed together. Shrewsbury have improved massively over the last season or so, but the ratings have consistently shown the play-offs to be the more realistic target for them. A few improved performances from Bradford have created a slight rebound in their ratings, but it’s too early to tell if this is a genuine recovery.

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 automatic promotion race is looking all but settled and the play-off probabilities have also narrowed considerably. Plymouth are best-placed to depose one of Scunthorpe or Charlton but they’d need a bit of good fortune at this point. The relegation battle is still very much ongoing, although three of the four places look to have been all but filled. Draws for Wimbledon, Oldham and Rochdale mean that Walsall‘s defeat hasn’t cost them significantly.