Casey Mize's debut start for Tigers draws big ratings on FSD
Justin Verlander was "Must-See JV."
And while it's far too early for a new moniker, Casey Mize already is attracting plenty of eyes — one start into his major-league career.
Making what arguably was the Tigers' most-anticipated major-league debut since Justin Verlander in 2005, Mize's start Wednesday night in Chicago drew the third-best ratings of the season for Fox Sports Detroit, company officials confirmed Thursday afternoon.
The ratings were third-best on TV and streaming, behind only the season opener and home opener.
Mize's start drew a 5.03 HH rating, meaning of TVs in the market that carry FSD, more than 5% of them were tuned into the game — during which Mize, the No. 1 overall pick in 2018 out of Auburn, pitched into the fifth inning, striking out seven, but allowing three runs. He earned the no-decision in a 5-3 loss in Chicago.
FSD also won its time slot from 8 to 10:45 p.m.
Only the season opener July 24 (8.1 HH) and the home opener July 27 (5.2 HH) drew better ratings among the games played this shortened season, which began late because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another top Tigers pitching prospect, Tarik Skubal, made his debut a day earlier on Tuesday. His start drew a 3.28 HH, ranked 17th among Tigers games this season.
During their heydays from 2006-14, when the Tigers made the playoffs five times, the team had some of the best ratings in all of Major League Baseball, sometimes coming in No. 1 at season's end. Audience numbers have dwindled in recent years, since the Tigers have been rebuilding, but FSD remains the No. 1 network in Michigan in prime time when the Tigers are playing, FSD officials said.