The Texas Rangers going up against the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series seems to be to have a lot of interesting storylines and provide compelling drama. However, I’m a Rangers fan, so I may be biased.
The early returns, though, seem to suggest that I’m not the only one who thinks that. Per Bill Shaikin, Fox says that Rangers/Astros Game 1 drew more viewers than Game 1 of any LCS game since 2015.
It no doubt helps that Dallas and Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan areas in the country. It was also a Sunday night, and the game was close throughout, so you weren’t losing viewers because of a blowout.
I think also, though, you have in the Astros a team that has been a fixture in the playoffs for a long time now — this is their seventh straight ALCS appearance — and, due to a variety of reasons, not least the cheating scandal, is viewed as a villain by many fans. The Rangers, meanwhile, are a new face, provide someone that anti-Astros folks can root for, and also have several well known stars.
It will be interesting to see what the ratings show for Game 2, as well as the remaining games of the series.