Beltran is in the midst of a brutal 6-for-37 (.162) slide over his past 10 games, so he'll head to the bench to clear his mind. Evan Gattis will serve as the DH, opening up a spot for Juan Centeno to start behind the dish.
With the Red Sox sending southpaw Drew Pomeranz to the mound, Choo will head to the bench as Rougned Odor serves as DH and Pete Kozma slides in to start at second base. Choo has only started six games against lefty pitchers this season vs 34 against right-handers.
Trumbo stumbled out of the gate, mustering an apathetic .202 batting average alongside a .548 OPS in the campaign's first month. Since flipping the calendar to May, the slugger is slashing .333/.381/.511 with four home runs (he hit two in April), 11 RBI and 16 runs. The 31-year-old would have to go on an unbelievable streak to near 2016's career season, and at this point, that seems highly improbable. However, Trumbo should still provide a nice contribution across multiple categories as the year rolls along.
The first baseman's breather will also give Mike Trout a game at designated hitter, so it's a double play in terms of alleviating the workload of their two big mashers. The Angels will reveal how often they'll play Pujols over the weekend when they travel to face the Marlins and lose the designated hitter.
Pujols dealt with some hamstring tightness late last week which cost him starts during an interleague series with the Mets, but there's no indication that his absence Thursday is related. He's been effective since returning to the lineup, collecting a base knock in back-to-back games and a home run in Wednesday's loss to the Rays. He'll sit out the series finale, while Jefry Marte gets the start at first base, and Mike Trout serves as the designated hitter.
Beltran's average dropped to .234 after the slugger's hit just .162 (6-for-37) after a 10-game slide. Even worse, can we call him a "slugger" when he's slugging .373, last among the Astros' regulars and 143rd in MLB? With just four home runs and 14 RBI through 158 at-bats, Beltran has not provided the middle-of-the-order bat the Astros thought they were getting when they signed him during the offseason.
The slugger collected a pair of doubles in Tuesday's game, so this was a fitting followup. Vargas was struggling at the dish, and he hadn't been receiving consistent playing time, so the mini heater could earn him a few more at-bats in the immediate future. For the season, Vargas boasts a .270/.295/.527 slash line with five home runs, 18 RBI and eight runs through just 21 games.
Cruz is batting just .167 over his past seven games played, and with the Mariners playing in a National League park, he'll head to the bench for a night off. Ben Gamel will take over in right field for the evening, but look for Cruz to return to action Thursday given that manager Scott Servais wants him to play two out of the three games in Washington.
Choo's run-scoring double tied things up in the fifth inning and the designated hitter later plated another run on a base hit in the sixth inning, giving him his fourth multi-RBI game of the season. The pair of hits also helped Choo extend his on-base streak to 12 games. Choo's .374 on-base percentage leads all Rangers regulars and should allow him to keep his spot at the top of the order, at least against right-handed pitching.
Healy started an Oakland comeback with a 410-foot shot to center in the fourth that brought home Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis, shortening the deficit to 7-4 at the time. The 25-year-old is currently riding a 10-game hitting streak, although all but three of his 13 hits during that span have been singles. However, Healy now has five home runs in May and has seen a nice boost in slugging (.415 to .493) and OPS (.690 to .810) over his April numbers.