Pre-Kyushu Fantasy Sumo and Power Rankings

The last basho of 2019 is upon us, and so is another round of the numbers. Let’s dive right in.


Fantasy Sumo

Our guest this time is @KC_Mustang, who won our most recent fantasy contest by coming up with our favorite rikishi Halloween costume, Hokutofuji as Chunk from The Goonies. Now there’s a truffle shuffle I’d like to see. Here are our teams and scoring system:

Since we crushed our fantasy guest last time around, tradition dictates it is our turn to be crushed. Think it will happen?


GSB Sumo Power Rankings – Link to full spreadsheet

Back again to take the world of sumo dorks by storm are our power rankings!

We’ve created and maintained a ranking system based on professional chess’s Elo ratings. Each wrestler has a rating with the average defined as 1000. Over the course of the basho, wrestlers will give and take points from each other based on the outcome of their match as well as their probability of winning.

Based on the last 17 tournaments of our data, here’s the current top 10:

Top10.JPG

Check out the link above any day of the Kyushu basho to see the current standings collected into graphs and tables and all that good nerdy junk. See you again after the tournament!

Post-Aki 2019 Fantasy and Power Rankings

***Spoilers, duh***

Well as is tradition, Aki continues to be the WTF basho of the year. A lot of top guys dropped out and we had some breakout performances where they weren’t expected, leaving a lot of our predictions in shambles… Check out our recap episode for our full breakdown.


Fantasy Sumo

Well, as is tradition, our guest either demolishes us or gets demolished. Weirdly surprising how rarely it’s anything in between. This time it was listener Brendan’s turn to take the fall. Despite having runner-up Takakeisho on his team, The Double Henka was brought low by a kyujo Hakuho and some under performing veterans. On the flip side we had Mak and The Gambarizers edging out the competition on the backs of a very strong top 4. Here’s our scoring system and the full results:

If you’d like to join us for fantasy sumo in November, find us on Twitter for our next contest.


GSB Sumo Power Rankings – Link to full spreadsheet

Next up is our patent pending GSB Sumo Power Rankings. For a quick description of how it works, here’s Last-Month Jake:

“We created a system based on professional chess’s Elo ratings. Each wrestler has a rating with the average defined as 1000. Over the course of the basho, wrestlers will give and take points from each other based on the outcome of their match as well as their probability of winning.”

Here are the top ten of those who participated in the full basho, showing where they started, how much they gained/lost, and where they ended up:

Elo

Not a bad list at all if you are a fan of promising youngsters taking over the sport! A newer addition to our program is a graph of our wrestlers’ progress over the basho. In particular this month, I loved how Okinoumi (orange) barged his way into the elite ranks, took an ass-kicking, then soldiered through the final third to stick around near the top. You can also see really well how Hokutofuji (purple) pulled out a miracle in the second half to stay with the pack.

EloGraph

That’s all this basho, keep an eye out for a bonus episode or few in October and our Kyushu preview coverage.

 

-Jake

Aki 2019 Fantasy and Power Rankings

***Day 2 Spoilers***

“Better late than never,” I say while figuratively sauntering into the sumo office two days late…


Fantasy Sumo

This basho, our social media contest to join us for fantasy sumo was to come up with sumo-themed super heroes. Keep an eye out for our next contest after Aki. Our winner this month is Brenden, and you can check out his team below along with our scoring rules.

 

Who do you think will take it? Will our guest kick our asses like usual?


GSB Sumo Power Rankings – Link to Spreadsheet

If you, like any real sumo fan, are into crunching numbers to analyze the sport, you’ll love our sumo power rankings. We’ve created and maintained a ranking system based on professional chess’s Elo ratings. Each wrestler has a rating with the average defined as 1000. Over the course of the basho, wrestlers will give and take points from each other based on the outcome of their match as well as their probability of winning. Based on the last 3 years of competition, here is the top 10 coming into the Aki basho:

Elo

Kakuryu unsurprisingly topped the list, with now-kyujo Hakuho and Takaysu close behind. Obviously those two won’t stay close now, but it’ll be fun to see who can catch up. Check out the link to our spreadsheet if you want to see current stats, I update at least every other day during the tournaments.

Nagoya 2019 Fantasy Sumo and Power Rankings

Another basho down, another set of those sweet, sweet spreadsheets.


Fantasy Sumo

Fantasy sumo did… not go great for yours truly. It was a rough basho for my team so I’m glad I’ll have our Japan trip to look back on instead of this performance. Here’s how we determine our points:

Rules

And here’s how each of our teams did:

 

Our guest Sunlan did great but was just barely edged out by Flyric. If you’d like to join us for the next basho, look for our new contest on our Twitter feed. This time around we are looking for for the best sumo-themed superhero ideas.


GSB Sumo Power Rankings – Link to Spreadsheet

My personal pet project is our sumo power rankings. Last-month-Jake describes our system thusly:

“We created a system based on professional chess’s Elo ratings. Each wrestler has a rating with the average defined as 1000. Over the course of the basho, wrestlers will give and take points from each other based on the outcome of their match as well as their probability of winning.”

Well said. So without further math, here are the top 10 ratings coming out of Nagoya:

Elo

Unsurprisingly, our yusho winner Kakuryu tops out the rankings after Nagoya with rival Hakuho keeping Hakuhot on his heels (sorry). Takayasu pulled out of the tournament, but stays near the top of the rankings due to his solid wins before the injury. Feel free to check out the link to our spreadsheet for full stats and we’ll catch you next time!

Nagoya 2019 Fantasy Sumo and Power Rankings Pre-Basho

Time for the best part of any basho: the spreadsheets!


Fantasy Sumo

As always, check out our Twitter feed between the bashos for our fun little contest to join us in our fantasy sumo league. Each basho we pick a winner to join the four of us and draft teams of 5 makuuchi wrestlers and 1 juryo. Here’s our scoring system:Rules

This time our contest winner is Sunlan, who helped us out with some good (and bad) travel advice for our vacation to Japan. Here’s his lineup as well as each of ours. Who do you think will take it this tournament?


GSB Sumo Power Rankings – Link to Spreadsheet

Next up is our sumo power rankings. We created a system based on professional chess’s Elo ratings. Each wrestler has a rating with the average defined as 1000. Over the course of the basho, wrestlers will give and take points from each other based on the outcome of their match as well as their probability of winning. After a slight regression towards the mean in between tournaments, here are the top 10 ratings going into Nagoya:

Elo

Note that wrestlers’ rankings are influenced by more than just the most recent basho, hence Hakuho is still at the top after his 15-0 Haru, even though he skipped Natsu entirely. Also notable are Asanoyama (#11, 1048) and Tochinoshin(#12, 1038) who did great in Natsu, but just missed the top 10.

Check out the link to the spreadsheet above, where you can view the performance of each wrestler live during the basho and feel free to send any questions or suggestions.

As always, enjoy the basho (especially the math)!

Natsu 2019 Fantasy Sumo and Power Rankings

Something we (Jake) have been promising for a while is an overview of our statistics after each basho. We put a bit of effort into running fantasy sumo contests and our Elo-style power rankings, so we wanted to make sure the final results were available more than just on our regular episodes. Check out our results below and let us know what you think. We’re always looking for more ways to over-analyze and quantify this beautiful sport of ours.


Fantasy Sumo

Every basho we run a fantasy sumo contest for bragging rights. Check out our Twitter feed for the contest to join us next basho. Here are the rules we use for scoring:

Rules

Our fantasy guest this basho was @ourmaninjapan, who won his place by coming up with some great sumo/music puns in our Twitter contest. In a move rivaling the nerdiness of GSB ourselves, he used an algorithm and a spreadsheet to determine how many wins he expected from each wrestler. Here is his team, anchored by the only active yokozuna, Kakuryu:

Guest

Next up we have Flyric who has been on a cold streak, losing 2 of the last three basho. Did he turn it around this time?Flyric

He did not. Rough call on that Takakeisho pick. Next up was Mak coming in with a strong looking team on paper:Mak

A few guys out of their depth kept Mak from pulling ahead. Jake picked with his heart instead of his head but managed to do OK

Jake

But far and away our winner was Ryan. His picks did well so consistently he would have almost won even without the yusho winner.

Ryan

Here’s a final look at scores, with Ryan crushing us something fierce and our guest holding his own. Well done and good game, @ourmaninjapan.

Score


GSB Sumo Power Rankings – Link to Spreadsheet

Another of our side projects is our GSB Power Rankings. Borrowing from professional chess’s Elo rankings, we assign each wrestler in the top division a rating, defining 1000 as the (unitless) average. By comparing the rating of each wrestler, we can estimate the probability of victory for each match and reassign points according to the result. If the result was expected, such as Hakuho defeating Tochiozan, then only a few points will be taken from the loser’s rating and given to the winner’s. In contrast, a big upset will cause a bigger point-swing. By following this process over all 15 days of the basho, we can visualize how the wrestlers compare to each other in regards to their current momentum. Here’s a graph of some of the top guys in Natsu:

Graph.JPG

Check out Asanoyama barging into the pack of elite talents at the top. You can see a better view with all the numbers by going to the Google doc linked above. On that document you can change any of the blue cells to compare whichever makuuchi wrestlers you like.


Well that’s all for now, feel free to send us any questions or suggestions and we’ll see you after Nagoya with more pointless stats!

Fantasy Sumo League: Haru 2018

*Spoilers through day 15/end of basho*

Haru basho is complete and the results are in for our fantasy league. Our guest this tournament was Molly, who provided us with last month’s best sumo/valentine’s pun: “Who does the sumotori go to for love advice? Cherub-maru!” 

Keep an eye out for our next contest if you’d like to join us in May.

Each player picked 5 rikishi from makuuchi and one from juryo. Before the results, here’s the scoring we used:

Continue reading “Fantasy Sumo League: Haru 2018”

Fantasy Sumo League: Hatsu 2018

LINK TO SPREADSHEET

A new year, a new opportunity to embarrass ourselves at something we thought we could be good at. Last basho we got our butts kicked by our guest participant Amy, so we kicked her right out. I would say we learned our lesson, but joining and probably destroying us this time is Eric. Eric gave us the winning name for our sumo mascot: Chikara-kun!

 

Check out the link above for our spreadsheet with rules and updated scores. The only change from last basho is that we added a sixth pick. This sixth pick scores the same way as the others but is selected from the juryo division. Here are the lineups for Hatsu 2018:

Our new likely champ Eric leads Team You Do It To Yourself, And That’s What Really Hurts: Hakuho, Chiyoshoma, Kaisei, Sokokurai, Aminishiki, and Osunaarashi.

Next, Ryan gives us The Fat Five (it’s six now, so he should probably work on that name): Hokutofuji, Onosho, Okinoumi, Shohozan, Chiyonokuni, Miyogiryu.

The Yokozuna Abides is led by Flyric: Kakuryu, Goeido, Yoshikaze, Asanoyama, Arawashi, Mitoryu.

Mak brings us The Chankonabe Chompers: Kisenosato, Tamawashi, Takakeisho, Tochinoshin, Chiyomaru, Amakaze.

Bringing up the rear is Team Abi’s Well that Endo’s Well led by Jake: Mitakeumi, Takayasu, Abi, Endo, Ikioi, Aoiyama.

Check in during the basho for scores!

Fantasy Sumo Results: Kyushu 2017

Better late than never, here are the results from our second basho of fantasy sumo. We had our first guest competitor and holy hell she destroyed us. Maybe we don’t need guests in the future… Anyway, here’s a quick overview of the scoring:

Scoring
Each Match Won 1 pts
Each Match Lost 0 pts
Kachi-Koshi (8-7 or Better Record) 2 pts
Make-Koshi (7-8 or Worse Record) -2 pts
Yusho (Basho Winner Result) 5 pts
Jun-Yusho (Runner-Up Result) 3 pts
Each Kin-Boshi Awarded 2 pts
Each Special Prize Awarded 3 pts

Here’s a link to the full spreadsheet if you want the details, but check out this massacre:

Team Score
Amy AH HATS 70
Ryan The Fat Five 48
Flyric MitaYoMamiNoShin 41
Mak KiT-KoT-Char 36
Jake The Brutal Bellies 29

Amy managed to get Hakuho and Hokutofuji thereby thoroughly embarrassing our whole crew. She was promptly kicked off the team to make space for a new guest in January. If you’d like to be that guest (and you aren’t as good as Amy at this), remember to submit a name for our mascot. We’ll pick our favorite and contact you through Twitter with the details on how to humiliate us at our own game.

Fantasy Sumo League: Kyushu 2017

LINK TO SPREADSHEET

Take 2 of Fantasy Sumo is underway and this basho looks to be a little easier on us for injuries. Will that stop us from blowing it anyway? Of course not. This round we welcome a new competitor: Amy, of Team AH HATS! She originally picked Takanoiwa before he pulled out for injury, but luckily Takarafuji was available as a replacement to keep the acronym intact. Teams are as follows:

Returning champ Flyric, of Team MitaYoMamiNoShin: Mitakeumi, Onosho, Chiyotairyu, Daiamami, Tochinoshin.

Newcomer Amy of Team AH HATS: Hakuho, Hokutofuji, Shodai, Takarafuji, Arawashi.

Seeking redemption after a tough Aki is Mak of Team KiT-KoT-Char: Kisenosato, Takakeisho, Kotoshogiku, Tochiozan, Chiyomaru.

Aki runner-up Ryan of The Fat Five: Harumafuji, Endo, Tamawashi, Takayasu, Ikioi.

And this basho’s future champ, of course, is Jake of The Brutal Bellies: Goeido, Yoshikaze, Asanoyama, Kaisei, Aoiyama.

You can check out our scores and scoring system on the link above and feel free to leave us comments and mockery.

Thanks!