E Ratings update: League 2, 17 Feb 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.

Bury and Mansfield continue to orbit each other at the top of the rankings while Carlisle (who were defeated by a resurgent MK Dons) look like they may stalling again. l Another reverse for Yeovil sees their rating fall further – at this rate it won’t be long before they replace Grimsby – who the model is still deeply suspicious of for some reason – as the worst-rated side in the division.

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:

There’s a real scrap at both ends of the table now: eight teams have a better-than-50% chance of a top 7 finish, but obviously one of them is going to be disappointed. MK Dons win at Carlisle keeps them in with a shout of disrupting the top three, but it’s really hard to call which of the four teams beneath them will fall away. At the bottom another huge result for Notts County means that it’s equally tough to predict which of them, Macclesfield and Yeovil will avoid the drop.