In the spirit of World Cup competition, we're holding our own tournament in search of the Better Stock Today. We're pitting 32 companies against each other, and you, the reader, will determine the winner.

Vanguard Natural Resources takes on Apple for this first round-robin match up in our search for the better stock today.

Joel South, energy analyst at The Motley Fool, thinks Vanguard Natural Resources (NASDAQ:VNR) is a better investment today because of its mouthwatering yield and increasing payouts. In fact, since 2007, Vanguard Natural Resources has increased its distribution by 48%, and with de-risked mature assets, unitholders are getting their fill of Vanguard's 8.2% distribution yield.

Tech analyst Max Macaluso believes that one of the top reasons to be an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) bull comes down to the company's growth potential and its foray into some of the tech sector's hottest new markets. While some investors have questioned Apple's ability to innovate over the past few years, the company looks poised to not only release a new iPhone, but it has also entered the Internet of Things and wearables spaces with its HomeKit and HealthKit tools. In addition, its dividend, strong balance sheet, and strategy to grow its core business also make this a stock a stock to be enthusiastic about today.

Vote here to determine the winner of this match, and sound off in the comments. Check back to to see who advances in the tournament.

Joel South and Max Macaluso, Ph.D., own shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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.