The yusho race
Following his great bounce-back win over Goeido, Mitakeumi leads by two over the down-the-banzuke duo of Yutakayama and Asanoyama with two days to go, and has clinched at least a playoff spot. Everyone else is now out of yusho contention. A win by Mitakeumi tomorrow against Tochiozan or against Ichinojo on senshuraku seals the deal, as would losses by the two chasers.
I find the scheduling slightly curious. While 9-4 Tochiozan is a worthy opponent, I expected Mitakeumi to be matched up with the higher-ranked Endo, who instead is pitted against Asanoyama. And if you go way down the banzuke to match up Mitakeumi with a maegashira 13, why not the other maegashira 13, none other than Asanoyama? Or why not Yutakayama, who instead gets his stiff test against Takayasu in the final match of the day? And are the schedulers saving Asanoyama vs. Yutakayama for Day 15?
The upper ranks
Tamawashi locked up a San’yaku slot today, and Ichinojo’s loss made it more likely that the Komusubi will be promoted to Sekiwake. Ichinojo still has to face Goeido and Mitakeumi, and two losses would drop him into the maegashira ranks.
Takakeisho’s loss today, combined with Ikioi’s freebie, means the latter has nosed ahead in the race for the first open San’yaku slot. And what do you know, the schedulers have pitted them against each other for tomorrow, with the winner taking pole position. Just off the pace is Kaisei, with Yutakayama closing fast. Endo and Chiyotairyu are the only others who still have an outside shot at promotion.
Demotions and promotions
Heading down to Juryo: Kotoeko, Meisei.
Needs two wins to survive: Yoshikaze.
Needs two wins—or one plus banzuke luck—to survive: Arawashi.
Should be safe by winning one of two: Ishiura, Okinoumi, Chiyoshoma.
Everyone else is safe.
Heading up to Makuuchi: Takanoiwa, Takanosho, Kotoyuki.
One win might be enough, while two ensure promotion: Aminishiki.
Have an outside shot with two wins: Daiamami, Takagenji.
Everyone else is almost certainly staying where they are (if they’re not heading down to Makushita).