- Fantasy Basho
Aki 2022 Day Thirteen
PUBLIC LEAGUE LEADERBOARD
11 wins 15 Maegashira #3 East Tamawashi
10 wins 18 Maegashira #4 West Takayasu
26 Maegashira #8 West Hokutofuji
9 wins 05 Sekiwake #1 East Wakatakakage
11 Maegashira #1 East Tobizaru
29 Maegashira #10 East Nishikifuji
34 Maegashira #12 West Ryuden
Shitatenage. An underarm throw isn't usually too notable, but Hoshoryu used a spectacular one to flip over Nishikigi for his win on Day Thirteen.
MATCH OF THE DAY
Ozeki #1 East Takakeisho versus Sekiwake #1 East Wakatakakage
After moving to the side and knocking down Hokutofuji on Day Twelve, it would seem Takakeisho would be most aware of avoiding a hit-and-shift. Alas, no, Wakatakakage took the Ozeki out of even theoretical yusho contention with his own textbook sideways shift for an easy win.
With just two matches remaining and leader Tamawashi at 11-2, the yusho math is relatively simple. To have even a shot at a playoff, a rikishi needs to be on 10 or 9 wins after Day Thirteen. That group is Takayasu and Hokutofuji one loss back, with Wakatakakage, Tobizaru, Nishikifuji, and Ryuden sitting two losses back. Those are the seven men who can theoretically stand atop this basho at the end.
The quartet at 9-4 would seem to be needing too much to go right for it to really work out, and that's probably true. If any of Tamawashi, Takayasu, or Hokutofuji win their last two matches, the 4-loss rikishi have no shot. On the other hand, that group at 9-4 will get a pretty big say in what happens. On Day Fourteen, two of them face men ahead of them. Tobizaru and Tamawashi will square off in the middle of Makuuchi's matches, with Wakatakakage seeing Hokutofuji a little later on. Takayasu, meanwhile, gets the tricky shin-Sekiwake Hoshoryu.
This presumably means Tamawashi and Takayasu are the Day Fifteen matchup for each other. Wakatakakage's most notable potential dance partner remaining is lackluster Ozeki Shodai. That does mean Wakatakakage needs Tobizaru and Takayasu to win on Day Fourteen and Fifteen, respectively, but would probably like them to lose their other matches. Tobizaru's most likely Day Fifteen opponent would be Ryuden, who has gone on an eight match winning streak to jump into the yusho race.
Hokutofuji, who had a nine match winning streak to start this basho, also hasn't faced Ryuden. Where he will shake out is unclear, although his three match losing streak was broken by moving to the side for a win over Tobizaru. He is on a small skid, but he got himself in this position with his first week. That Hokutofuji could show up for the last two days, and any potential playoff.
Of course, the simplest outcome for the Aki basho is that Tamawashi beats Tobizaru on Day Fourteen, then beats Takayasu (or whoever his Day Fifteen opponent is). No complicated playoff scenarios are needed there, since Tamawashi is the sole leader. His second career Yusho, both after age 34 and three and a half years apart, is on the horizon. Now he just needs to get over the finish line.