Overall, from my breakdown, it seems apparent that the Dodgers have more advantages coming into this series, including homefield. This should come as no surprise, though, even to Cards fans, because L.A. has the best record in the NL and has a very complete team.
Nevertheless, pitching wins championships and the Cardinals staff is very good. So, although the Dodgers may have more advantages, the pitching can easily neutralize them.
X-factor offensively for the Dodgers: Rafael Furcal (needs to get on base and force the Cards pitchers to throw strikes to Ethier, Kemp, and Manny.)
X-factor offensively for the Cardinals: Albert Pujols (may seem obvious, but when he has struggled, so have the Cards for the most part. If he gets on base at all, it will cause problems.)
X-factor for Dodger's pitchers: Keep Pujols off the bases. May be easier said than done, but walking Pujols to get to Holliday isn't the greatest idea. When men are on base, maybe, but if the bases are clear, the pitchers need to go after him and not give him a free pass.
X-factor for Cardinals pitchers: Keep Furcal off the bases. When he gets an inning going, the Dodgers tend to follow. Also, they need to hold runners on effectively.
One thing that WILL happen in Game One or Two for L.A.: Manny Ramirez will go deep.
One thing that WILL happen in Game One or Two for St. Louis: Pujols will have an RBI.
Most important game: Game One. If the Dodgers win Game One over Carpenter, I think they will win the series in four games. If the Dodgers lose, then I think the Cardinals win it in four.
FINAL PREDICTION: St. Louis in four games (pains me to say it as a Dodger's fan). Game One, in my opinion, will decide the winner.