E Ratings update: League 2, 16 Mar 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.

Despite being held to a draw, Northampton‘s stock continues to rise, while Crewe‘s resounding win continues their upward trajectory. As predicted the other week, Grimsby have finally been replaced as the worst-rated team in the league, with another poor Yeovil performance seeing the Glovers sink below them.

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:

Mansfield and Lincoln don’t play until Monday, but MK Dons‘ draw today has slightly improved both teams’ chances of securing automatic promotion. The final play-off spot still looks to be up for grabs, with Forest Green, Carlisle and Colchester all vying for it. At the bottom there’s been yet another twist in the relegation battle, with a draw for Notts County and a win for Macclesfield at Yeovil dragging the free-falling Glovers further into danger.

Averaging across all simulations, the title winner looks set to finish with 89 points compared to 85 for the runners-up and 78 for the team in fourth place. 71 points will probably be necessary for a play-off place and 44 should be enough to secure survival.