Despite national MLB ratings falling into the tank, local ratings are surging for a number of small market clubs.
On Tuesday, the Kansas City Royals drew an 8.7 rating on FS Kansas City for their game against the Twins, the second highest ever on the network. The only game to top it came this year on June 11th, for the Royals' matchup with the Detroit Tigers. Heading into Friday night's game with the Mets, the Royals had won nine games in a row and were three games above .500, 6.5 games back of the Tigers in the AL Central standings. The Royals' local ratings at midseason were also up 43% on last year's record 3.8, the largest increase in the league this season. Their 5.8 average at the All-Star Break was seventh-highest in baseball.
Not to be outdone in the AL Central, the second place Cleveland Indians, who have won eight in a row heading into this weekend's series in Miami, drew an 8.2 rating on Tuesday for the Tribe's game with the White Sox, the second straight game to crack an 8.0 and the fourth highest-rated game of the season for the Indians on STO. A report from June said that the Indians' local ratings were up 34% from last year, and that report came out while the team was still hovering around .500.
Finally, I'll close with a tidbit about the best story in baseball this year: the Pittsburgh Pirates. Game two of Tuesday's Pirates-Cardinals doubleheader on Root Sports drew an insane 16.37 rating, which is not just the highest-rated Pirates game ever on Root Sports, but also the highest-rated baseball game on any RSN in two seasons. Pittsburgh is known for their fanatical support of their local teams, as the Penguins' record ratings from this season will attest to.