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Haru 2023 Power Rankings

We are a little over a week from live sumo, which means you should go ahead and sign up on Fantasizr for Fantasy Basho. But if you are struggling with who to pick, here are Power Rankings to provide some clarity.

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Once again, it is time for Power Rankings before a basho. As usual, these need to come with a major caveat. These are best viewed as a snapshot of a rikishi's standing coming into a basho, rather than as a predictive tool. First, injuries will always wreck the best predictions. Second, the promotion-relegation for every single rank element of sumo means someone with a series of strong win totals will start facing a much more serious slate of competitors soon.


But the Hatsu Power Rankings did okay as a sense of who might do well. Takakeisho was on top, and he won the yusho. Wakamotoharu and Ryuden were in the top 10 and performed well. Chiyomaru was near the bottom and struggled back in Makuuchi. There were also misses. Takayasu was strong coming into Hatsu, but that's an example of an injury. Kotoshoho's Jun-Yusho performance certainly was not indicated by the Power Rankings.


Treat these as a fun look at what's happening over the last year. The formula for the Power Rankings is as follows:

  • Take the Fantasy Basho score (2 points for each win, 1 point for a kinboshi, 1 point for a Special Prize) for a tournament, adding 10 points for a yusho and 5 for a Jun-Yusho.

  • Add up the last five scores with a modifier. Multiply the most recent basho score by 5, the next most recent by 4, the third most recent by 3, the fourth most recent by 2, and the fifth most recent by 1.

  • For basho in Juryo, take the win total for that tournament and multiply by 1.5. For basho below Juryo, take the win total from that basho.

  • Add a bonus score, which is the budget number for that rikishi in the upcoming basho.

Here are the rankings, with some commentary below.

NOTES:

  • The Power Rankings do say Takakeisho has been much better than anyone else recently, so the Yokozuna chase will continue barring injury. In the past four basho, he has a yusho and two jun-yusho. In the past year, he has not had a losing record. That's why there is a gap between him and everyone else. Is Takakeisho a favorite over the field? Probably not, because winning consecutive yusho is rare for a reason. Is he the individual favorite? Absolutely.

  • For all the legitimate consternation about the Yokozuna and Ozeki currently, it is interesting the current Sekiwake seem to have separated themselves from everyone else. The Komusubi are also doing well here.

  • In the top few rikishi in the rankings, Ryuden is the surprise entrant. Since he returned to Makuuchi in September, he's been really good and his Juryo performance before that was strong. Maegashira #2 is certainly a test, but he won't get overwhelmed there based on his recent track record.

  • Terunofuji is at the foot of these rankings after missing two straight basho and not finishing the one before. Seeing the Yokozuna there is shocking, but it's probably fair. If he competes as a healthy Yokozuna, he could be pretty good. That is still highly unlikely.

  • Of the three Makuuchi debutants, the Power Rankings like Hokuseiho best over Kinbozan and Bushozan. He almost certainly will have the best career, thanks to his youth and general immensity. Seeing his ranking is fascinating, because it includes two Makushita basho and four Juryo basho. He may be able to hold up in Makuuchi pretty well immediately.

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