The Yusho Race
Regression to the mean finally started to catch up to M8 Okinoumi, who is now tied for the lead with M10 Meisei at 8-1. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the tournament champion will come not from this duo, but rather from the higher-ranking 7-2 chaser trio of the two Sekiwake (Mitakeumi and Takakeisho) and M2 Asanoyama. I also wouldn’t discount the chances of the six-man 6-3 hunt group, especially Ozeki Goeido and Komusubi Endo. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the yusho claimed by someone with 11 wins, tying the modern-day record for fewest victories by the winner.
Goeido needs only 2 more wins in 6 days to clear kadoban. He faces Abi tomorrow, and the remainder of his schedule should include bouts against fellow Ozeki Tochinoshin, the Sekiwake pair, and two opponents ranked M5 or lower.
After his cheap but crucial victory over Endo, Tochinoshin needs 4 more. He fights Chiyotairyu on Day 10, and his most likely path to 8 is to win that bout and his other remaining rank-and-file matchup, plus pick up a victory against Goeido, Mitakeumi, or Takakeisho, which won’t be easy.
Takakeisho needs to at least split his remaining six bouts to regain his Ozeki rank. He has 3 maegashira opponents left, and besting all of them would be sufficient. His remaining ranked opponents are the two Ozeki and Abi.
The Lower San’yaku
No major changes here—all four incumbents are still in positive territory, and Asanoyama continues to lead the promotion queue.
Toyonoshima (1-8) is now first in line for demotion, and may need to win out to stay in the top division. Takagenji (3-6) picked up a much-needed victories, but will require 5 more to reach safety. Of the rest, Tochiozan (4-5) has the most work left to do. Their victories today moved Shohozan and Kotoyuki into the “definitely safe” category. Takanosho (6-3) and Chiyomaru (5-4) lead the promotion race, with Chiyoshoma (5-4) just behind them.