E Ratings update: League 2, 27 Jan 2019

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 may be top of the table but the quality of chances they create is a little on the low side, so they’re reliant on maintaining their clinical finishing for the remainder of the season. Grimsby and Stevenage are both a bit confusing, as both are comfortably clear of a relegation scrap as it stands but their performances don’t look great in the data – it’s possible that they’re doing something right that the numbers don’t pick up.

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 current top three look likely to maintain their positions until the end of the season – as do the next three teams in the table – but the last play-off place is a lot trickier to call at the moment. The relegation battle is also far from settled, although Notts County are in serious trouble.