Votto is the last surviving member of the '13 club that lost the National League wild-card game to the Pittsburgh Pirates. That Reds team finished 18 games above .500 over a full season, but the first baseman believes this year's squad is superior.
"We're better," Votto said, according to Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "We're good and we're better. I like this team much more than I liked those (playoff) teams, and I really liked those teams. I think we're a f------ nightmare, and I think everybody knows that. I can't wait."
The Reds entered September a season-worst six games under .500 and appeared set to miss the playoffs again following significant investment over the offseason, which included the signings of Nick Castellanos and Mike Moustakas.
Instead, Cincinnati went 14-8 in September, won eight of its last 10, and hasn't lost a series in more than two weeks.
"This is a big step for us because a lot of people doubted us, man," reliever Amir Garrett said. "It was time for us. We were talking the talk, and now it's time for us to walk the walk. Now that we're in, it's time to go, man. I truly believe that we have a legitimate shot at this because our team is scary."
The Reds currently own the NL's first wild-card spot, which, as it stands, would match them up against the Atlanta Braves in a best-of-three series. With two games against the Minnesota Twins left on their regular-season slate, Cincinnati has a chance to improve its playoff position.