In today's ­first round match-up of The Motley Fool Better-Buy Tournament, CONSOL Energy squares off against American Capital Agency in a battle to determine which stock is the better buy now. The 64-company tournament pits two Motley Fool analysts against each as they make the case for their stocks with the winner determined by you, the readers.

Motley Fool energy analyst Taylor Muckerman thinks CONSOL Energy, (NYSE:CNX) should move to the next round because of its accelerating shift into natural gas. While it might be the oldest coal producer in the nation, natural gas is CONSOL's future. To avoid being blindsided, though, CONSOL wisely chose to hold onto its lower cost thermal coal mines and its solely owned export terminal as a nice hedge while the market shakes itself out. Other coal companies are likely jealous of this flexibility, so don't be jealous if CONSOL moves on.

Motley Fool Financials analyst David Hanson believes American Capital Agency (NASDAQ:AGNC) should move on to the next round because of the stock's ultra-cheap price today. American Capital Agency trades at a discount to book value and has historically traded at a premium to book value. The stock's cheap price is not a good indicator of the underlying business – which continues to produce positive returns. In addition, David points to the Federal Reserve's intentions to exit the Agency MBS market as a reason to be optimistic about American Capital Agency going forward. 

Watch these analysts square off in the video below and then vote for a winner. Then check out the other companies in the Motley Fool Better-Buy Bracket

This year's winning stock?
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Cast your vote in the poll below the video!

David Hanson has no position in any stocks mentioned. Taylor Muckerman owns shares of CONSOL Energy. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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